History and Architecture
St Michael's Church
The village is built along its original medieval street pattern, with winding lanes now lined primarily with 16th and 17th century houses. Today it is known for its many thatched cottages.
The oldest building in Amberley is the 12th century church of St Michael. There was a church here possibly as early as the 7th century. That Saxon building was replaced by a later, Norman church around the year 1100. Nearby is Amberley Castle, a hunting lodge and administrative centre built by the Bishop of Chichester, which is now a popular country house hotel.
More about Amberley’s development and industrial past, particularly the chalk quarry, can be seen at the Amberley Museum.
Local historian and author, Robert Hutchinson, has written a summary of the history of Amberley, which can be found on The Amberley Parish Council website.
The village is a blend of stone, brick, thatch, split flint, tile and timber. The mix of materials work together seamlessly creating a timeless feel..
The Old Bakery dates back to the 18th Century with the original stone walls still an integral part of the building. It was probably an outbuilding attached to an adjacent farm, and at the rear of the three buildings was a large fruit orchard which also housed a number of pigs.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, chalk was quarried from Amberley and taken to the many lime kilns in the area. The trains which first opened in 1863 brought visitors and building materials.