Beamish Open Air Museum

1128 Reviews

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Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

August, 2018

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Product country

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Travelled with

On your own

Reasons for trip

The Home Farm dates back to the C18th, when it was part of the estate of Beamish Hall. In the C19th it was rebuilt as a model farm incorporating a horse mill and a steam-powered threshing mill. The farm is laid out on either side of a public road with the farm house and farm buildings on one side. On the other are a pair of cottages with an outside two seater earth closet (netty), the bull field, duck pond and large shed.

Until recently, the Home Farm depicted farming in Victorian Times. In 2015, it was ‘modernised’ and brought into the 1940s, presumably as a move to cash in on the school curriculum and WW2. The only real difference seems to be electricity and an Aga which supplemented the coal fired range. It now depicts life on the Home Front during the Second World War. Petrol was rationed, so a horse drawn trap was used rather than a car. Horses were still used around the farm, although tractors were beginning to appear.

The home farm is surrounded by typical farm buildings (reviewed separately). Two of the original farm worker’s cottages (separate review) have been converted to billet Land Army workers and a family of evacuees.

The Home Farm is a long low building, typical of so many farms seen around the Durham Dales. It has an attached stable and a dove cote on the wall. Only the ground floor is open as the first floor is private and lived in by the tenant farmer.

Inside, a large kitchen living room stretches nearly the length of the farm house. At one end is the coal fired range left over from the Victorian Farm. Horse brasses hang on either side and above is a display shelf  It is surrounded by a tall, high backed wood settle, rocking horse and comfortable arm chairs. The stone slab floor is covered with linoleum for added warmth. The rest of the room contains a long table with bench seating, where the family and workers would have their meals.

This half of the room has a piano, sewing machine, radio and on one of the walls is a Welsh dresser dispalying china.

There are just two small light bulbs giving light. With the door open, there was a cooling breeze and the room was pleasantly cool, even with the fire burning and outside temperatures in the mid 20˚s.

Next to the kitchen was a small office used by the farmer but which also functioned as the local Home Guard office.

At the far side of this was the pantry, with rabbits hanging from the ceiling and jars of preserves on the shelves. A screen on the door made it difficult to make out details.

Off the kitchen is a doorway (locked) with steps leading down to the cellar. At the back of the house is the scullery with a two door aga and drying rack above.  

Outside the back door is a massive stone cheese press, typical of those used in Tynedale.

The back of the house has been extended at some point. There is a small paved drying yard. House leeks grow on the stone slab roof.

This is one of a series of “reviews”: I have written about Beamish

A full account with all my pictures can be read “here.”:


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