Amberley Museum

Museum website:

Amberley Museum 36 acres of crafts, vintage transport, exhibitions, nature trails & more!

Amberley Museum is a 36 acre open-air site dedicated to the industrial heritage of the south-east. Aided by volunteers, the Museum contains a wide range of exhibits, from transport-based collections, such as the Southdown bus collection and the village garage, to industry-based collections, such as the Print Workshop and Wheelwrights. The Museum is also home to a number of resident craftspeople, who work to traditional methods.


Amberley is home to a number of resident craftspeople, who work to traditional methods. They include a Potter, Blacksmith, Foundryman, Broom Maker, and Walkingstick Maker.


As craftspeople and independent business people, they are committed to promoting their bygone skills to the general public.

The Museum is also home to a number of volunteer craftspeople, including the Wheelwrights, Woodturners, Bodgers and those in the Print Workshop. Many of these people have developed their skills through a lifetime in the trade or through many years of dedication.


To ensure visitors can make good use of the 36 acre site during their visit, free transport is provided around site via a vintage bus service or a narrow gauge railway service. This in conjunction with numerous transport-themed exhibits and buildings provides a suitably memorable experience.

The Southdown Bus Collection at Amberley celebrates the first dominant local bus company in Sussex through a breathtaking collection of restored vintage buses, numerous replica buildings and displays.

The Museum is home to a large collection of narrow-gauge railway locomotives, rolling stock and other equipment, plus an extensive track network across the 36 acre site.  For more information visit:

Other transport related areas around the Museum include the award winning Village Garage – a replica of a 1930s rural garage, the Fairmile Cafe (a transport cafe relocated to the Museum), plus the vehicle collection of the Connected Earth telecommunications hall.


Throughout the Museum’s grounds can be found a number of exhibition areas. These cover, through displays, exhibits and hand-on activities, topics ranging from the generation of electricity to a war-time wireless.

Connected Earth is a project founded by BT to safeguard its unique heritage of telecommunications artefacts, dating back to the earliest days of telegraphy. The flagship collection at Amberley focuses on the “public face” of telecommunications using rare exhibits and hands-on displays.


The Energy Electricity Hall comprises a fascinating variety of electrical equipment, ranging from heavy engineering plant for the mains supply system to small domestic appliances. For academics, there is an extensive library of reference and archival material (by appointment only).

The Paviors’ Museum of Roads and Roadmaking, developed with the Worshipful Company of Paviors, tells the story of road construction from the earliest times to the present day, through impressive exhibits and displays.

The Vintage Wireless Exhibition includes telegraph, radio and telephone equipment and clandestine sets from World War II. A wide variety of television sets are on display, with early television sets demonstrated from time to time.

The Print Workshop provides a display of printing machinery and artefacts, most of which is operational. Numerous displays are on show, and the workshop is frequently active thanks to the volunteers who staff it.

The Tools & Trades History Society (TATHS) exists to further the knowledge and understanding of hand tools and the people who used them. Their displays contain a range of different tools for working in a wide variety of materials including wood, metal, leather and stone.

The Railway Exhibition and Conservation Hall, part of Amberley’s narrow gauge collection, includes a working area for restoration of the rail artefacts.

The Brickyard Drying Shed, a 19th century building relocated to Amberley, houses an exhibition on the local brick-making industry of the area, with a fine collection of finished bricks from local yards.


Amberley is home to a number of important architectural structures, some initially built on site and others carefully dismantled from elsewhere and rebuilt at Amberley. Some of these include:

The De Witt Kilns, built around 1905, is but one example of lime burning kilns on site. The building is a Scheduled Ancient Monument (the highest level of protection available to a structure in the UK).

The Municipal Engine House is a relocated building that stood in a council depot at Littlehampton from the early 20th century, forming part of the local sewerage system. It houses a number of working stationary engines.

The Fairmile Café, was built circa 1939 on the orders of the Earl of Hardwicke at Fairmile Bottom, just north of Arundel. An important example of early motoring architecture, it was relocated to Amberley in 2002.


After over a century’s use as a chalk quarry, Amberley’s 36 acre grounds have long since been beautifully reclaimed by nature. Not only in the heart of the South Downs National Park, the Museum is home to its own distinctive ecological world.

The Museum is home to a wide range of orchids and flowers, such as the fly orchid pictured, which can be seen in bloom at various stages through the season.

Amberley has a number of nature trails on site, providing visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in a wonderful, natural environment.


As well as providing a wonderful environment for the whole family to enjoy, Amberley also provides a number of services to ensure the day is one to remember.

The Limeburners Restaurant is licensed for up to 200 people and built to the style of a Sussex barn.  The restaurant is able to provide everything from a hot drink to a substantial meal for an individual or for group bookings.  It provides an ideal way to relax and enjoy Amberley’s ambience.


The Gift Shop contains a wide range of books, children’s toys, local produce and many other items – ideal either as a gift or momento of Amberley.

A number of benches and picnic areas can be found across site – they provide the ideal opportunity to enjoy the calm surroundings of the Museum for a family picnic.


Dogs are welcome at Amberley, provided they are kept on a lead at all times.  Please ensure that you clear up after your dog too.

All exhibit areas at Amberley are accessible by wheelchair or pushchair, with the exception of the nature trails and the vintage bus service. Upon request, before visiting, a wheelchair-accessible railway coach can also be prepared.

Where to find us:

View Larger Map




All information courtesy of

<< back to Attractions