Take a trip down memory lane at the Countryside Museum and see many restored artefacts and machinery of rural life from days gone by.
The exhibition hall is packed with nostalgic delights for all generations including traction engines, vintage machinery, traditional tools, tractors and domestic memorabilia that trace the history of rural life at Bicton and elsewhere in Britain over the last three centuries.
Do-it-yourself has taken on a new meaning since the times, not so long ago, when day-to-day survival in rural areas, for all but the very rich, depended upon a constant grind of DIY jobs. Craft workers fared a little better and their products and tools are among the artefacts on display at Bicton.
Bicton was a busy estate in the 19th century. Employees brought a multitude of skills to the tasks of developing the ornamental gardens, cultivating kitchen gardens, running the farm, managing woodlands, controlling vermin and maintaining the mansion. All of these jobs are reflected in the museums exhibits.
An 1831 hand-operated fire engine, kept at Bicton House for 100 years, would no doubt have seen action in 1874 when a blaze in the mansion’s east wing caused considerable damage.
The museum really is a treat for all ages, and features a unique collection of historic artefacts that you will have difficulty finding elsewhere.