A trip back in time to 1642

Members of the Gosport Living History Society/villagers together at the ale house in Little Woodham, Gosport.
Members of the Gosport Living History Society/villagers together at the ale house in Little Woodham, Gosport.
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Hidden in the middle of Gosport’s new-build houses, there is a space filled with homes from another time. There are people in bonnets and aprons going about their business, working hard in the fresh air or sat by candlelight in the warmth of the local pub.

Take a trip back to the 17th century this Sunday with traditional thatched cottages, friendly villagers and maybe even a warming vegetable broth.

Little Woodham is the Gosport Living History Village set in 1642, and the site is welcoming families to come and explore.

Set up as a living community, children and parents are encouraged to ask the villagers questions.

As all of the villagers in Little Woodham are volunteers no two days are the same, but visitors can see the local hub the alehouse, where a weary traveller will be offered fine beer, food and lodgings for the night.

A popular visitor to the alehouse is the local poacher who sells his legal kills of rabbit. Other inhabitants who work and live in the village are the basketmaker, spinner, lace maker and loom weaver.

There may also be peddlers selling their wares or journeymen seeking employment. Usually the scribe will pay a visit to the farm and wander into the village afterwards.

First constructed by the English Civil War Society in 1982, Little Woodham was used as a temporary exhibition. Two years later, some of the local people formed the Gosport Living History Society to look after it.

More than 30 years on and GLHS is now a registered charity with members of the village taking part when they can.

The volunteers are still building the village to make it more authentic, including a replica 17th century kiln for pottery which will be one of only a few in Europe.

On Sunday, Little Woodham is open from 10.30am until 4pm. Free car parking is available.

More open days are taking place at the village on May 4, 5 and 6. To celebrate May Day there will be a traditional Maypole dance, a story teller and Morris dancers.

Tickets cost £3.50 for children, £4.50 for adults and £15.50 for a family (two adults and up to three children under 16).

For more information call Little Woodham on (07407) 425241 or go to littlewoodham.org.uk.