The Malt Barn
New Market Street
Usk Rural Life Museum is in the heart of Monmouthshire – the perfect place for a museum that tells the story of the the farming year and celebrates a way of life that is long lost. The museum is packed full of fascinating displays and reconstructions of how we used to live.
Step back in time in the farmhouse kitchen. Learn about how we worked. Meet the people who lived then. Would you have liked their way of life?
Usk Rural Life Museum houses a collection of more than 5,000 artefacts thatportray rural life in Monmouthshire over 100 years from 1850 - 1950.Partly housed in an ancient malt barn, the museum has recently undergone a major refurbishment, adding a new barn and community room.Now old and new sit comfortably together and the whole museum is inviting and airy.
The museum is run entirely by volunteers and all the exhibits have been collected and donated by local enthusiasts.
At Usk Rural Life Museum you can see a farmhouse kitchen, a dairy, a laundry, a blacksmith, a wheelwright, a cobbler, plus all the machines and equipment used in the farmyard and fields.
There are life-size models of people and animals, toys, clothes, birds' nests and eggs, bicycles, items from the war years - a whole host of things that show how life has been lived over the past century and a half.Some things are gruesome, like the pig-killing ladder.Some are beautiful, reflecting true craftsmanship.And watch out for the rat in the rafters!
From time to time the collection is brought alive with demonstrations of rural skills like butter making and bread making.The demonstrations, along with Bessie the model cow, are regular attractions at local agricultural shows and events.Bessie is also available for hire.
No wonder it's been said the museum has"...one of the best collections of its kind in Britain."
Groups and Schools
Usk Rural Life Museum welcomes bookings from groups and schools, who can enjoy exclusive use of the museum on Mondays.
We have a successful education programme and can tailor your visit to suit the National Curriculum and the period you're studying.We're happy to put on our demonstrations during your visit.We also use professional enactors that portray people such as land girls and shepherds and bring your visit to life.
Please call for further information.
Our modern community room is available for hire for meetings and events of up to 30 people.It has a small kitchen area, an overhead projector and screen.Alight buffet can be provided on request.
The room is available throughout the day and evening, all year round.
Why not arrange a visit to the museum at the same time and have a meeting with a difference?
The museum houses a large collection of old photographs, books and farm records.These are available on request for reference and research.
We have recently undertaken an oral history project to record the knowledge and memories of some of the older residents of Monmouthshire.They provide a fascinating insight into rural life and the wartime activities of the Local Defence Volunteers and Land Army.