Museum Story

Amberley Museum & Heritage Centre is set in a 36 acre site in the South Downs National Park.

Amberley Museum is Registered Educational Charity No 278722
Amberley Museum is an Accredited Museum by Arts Council England
President HRH Prince Michael of Kent

Dedicated to the industrial heritage of the South East, charting the history of local industry and crafts in this part of Sussex. We have a diverse collection of exhibits, to include a narrow-gauge railway and bus service (both provide free nostalgic travel around the site), Connected Earth Telecommunications Hall, Milne Electricity Hall, Printing Workshop and much more. The Museum is also home to traditional craftspeople, such as the blacksmith and potter.

Various crafts and skills are demonstrated for the education of our visitors. For example, the Museum Printing Workshop houses historic printing equipment and has demonstrations provided by knowledgeable volunteers, enabling visitors to see machines operated realistically, with items made on presses including Linotype and Heidelberg cylinder presses, small scale Adana and rarities such as the Columbian ‘Eagle’ flat-bed press (c.1856) which in some aspects is not far removed from the first wooden presses by Gutenburg and Caxton.


There is also a narrow gauge railway on site, built from the existing industrial railway used in the days of the chalk quarry.  The locomotive stock that operates around the site have been bought over the years to extend the Museum's collection.

The Museum also houses a collection of Southdowns buses, some owned by the Museum and others on permanent loan to the Museum.



Few people today think of the South East of England as the home of heavy industry and yet, not so long ago, the beautiful South Downs provided a natural abundance of material from pits, mines and quarries. These chalk pits and associated buildings now form the backdrop of the Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre story.
















The Museum itself was established in 1979. Amberley Museum seeks to reflect the history of working life in our region.

The Museum is not set in any particular period of time, and contains exhibits from 150 years ago to the present day. The site was once a busy lime works. The buildings and kilns are now preserved, with the De Witt Kilns – built in 1905 thought to be the only surviving example, which won an award from the Heritage Lottery Funding. Some of our buildings have been rescued from other locations, and now form as exhibits. For instance the Fairmile Café – a wooden structure built in 1939 was once a transport stop for many motorists near Arundel (on the way to Fontwell), and now operates on special days at the Museum as a tea parlour.