Chiltern Open Air Museum

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In the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Buckinghamshire
The Toll House
The Prefab

Chiltern Open Air Museum is a museum of vernacular buildings and a tourist attraction located near Chalfont St Peter and Chalfont St. Giles in the Chiltern Hills of Buckinghamshire, running up to the Hertfordshire boundary.

The museum is a wide estate of open land and woodland, in which have been re-erected a series of buildings from around the country, in particular from the Chilterns, and representing many ages, from an Iron Age round house, early modern farm buildings and houses, an Edwardian public toilet and a post-war pre-fab. All around the site are footpaths between the areas of the museum and through the woods.

The Chiltern Open Air Museum frequently hosts re-enactment displays and other history events.


The museum was founded in 1976 and aims to rescue and restore common buildings from the Chilterns, which might otherwise have been destroyed or demolished. The buildings have been relocated to the museum's 45 acres site, which includes woodland and parkland. The collection has more than 30 buildings on view including barns, other traditional farm buildings and houses.

Buildings of interest include:

  • a reconstruction of an Iron Age round house;
  • a Victorian toll house from High Wycombe;
  • a "Tin Chapel" from Henton, Oxfordshire;
  • a forge from Garston, Hertfordshire;
  • a fine pair of cottages from 57 Compton Avenue at Leagrave, near Luton which started out as a weather-boarded thatched barn with central double doors in the early 18th century and was in the late 18th century converted into two labourers' cottages;
  • a 1940s prefab from Amersham.
Celtic roundhouse

Recently, the museum has undertaken reconstruction of a wychert style farmhouse. The museum's collection includes 16 buildings that are in storage and due for re-erection as and when the museum's funds permit.

Chiltern Open Air Museum is a registered charity.[1] It has a small number of full-time staff and a volunteer workforce of approximately 200.

On film

The site is used as a filming location. It has been a location for productions such as Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife.[2]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Chiltern Open Air Museum)


  1. Chiltern Open Air Museum - Registered Charity no. 272381 at the Charity Commission
  2. "Chiltern Open Air Museum Website". Chiltern Open Air Museum. Chiltern Open Air Museum. Retrieved 28 February 2014.