The Worshipful Company of Plumbers

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As part of your visit to the Museum, be sure to come to the Worshipful Company of Plumbers’ exhibits and demonstrations of plumbing craft skills at the Company’s Court Barn and also at the Newick Plumbers’ Workshop. (Building ref. No. 33 and 24 respectively on the Museum Site Plan.)

There is archaeological evidence of plumbers’ work in the Greek Islands dating back to approximately 2800 B.C. but it was in Roman times, that the work of the plumber really began to flourish. Indeed the word ‘plumber’ is derived from the Latin word for lead plumbum

The ancient craft of lead work is still in use today. To see examples of the lead work of today, together with some of the other modern plumbers’ craftwork, be sure to visit our exhibits.

An important feature of a visit to the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum is the opportunity it provides at certain times to see craftsmen demonstrating various traditional crafts.

The Worshipful Company of Plumbers provides demonstrations of lead work skills. We are only able to do this with the help of volunteer craftsmen who are willing to give some of their spare time to promote and demonstrate the skills of their Industry.

Our volunteers come not only from within the Livery but also from the teaching profession, students, colleges, branches of the Institute of Plumbing, and employed or retired craftsmen.

Demonstrations of lead work will be given regularly in the Court Barn. 

If you have the craft skills and would like to join our team of demonstrators please contact Phil Mead through the Museum, telephone 01243 811348. While we rely on volunteers we do help with travel expenses and provide a voucher for lunch at the Museum. Also an Award is made each year to a selected demonstrator in recognition of the contribution that person has made during the year. Part of the Award is a cheque for £200.00

The Plumbers’ Company shares the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum’s objective of encouraging interest in traditional building crafts and the Company was pleased to be offered facilities by the Director of the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum to open a Plumbers’ Museum in 1976. The Company purchased the Court Barn, which was transported to the site and re-erected. The work was completed and the exhibits prepared in 1980 and the Plumbers’ Museum was officially opened on the 4th October 1980.

The Worshipful Company of Plumbers is one of the oldest of the City of London Livery Companies. It is over six hundred years old, but it continues to play an active part in the craft today.

Historically, the Worshipful Company of Plumbers had ultimate responsibility for all matters affecting the craft, e.g. education and training, quality and standards, the promotion and guardianship of the craft, the attainment of excellence in individual craft skills.

It continues to support the craft and the Industry by its active participation in the promotion of these matters today.

If you would like more information about the Worshipful Company of Plumbers’ Livery Company, click onto our Coat of Arms

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