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Amberley Working Museum is a slightly confused sort of place. It doesnʼt seem to be quite sure if it is a professional (albeit charitable) industrial museum,
or the home to a lot of well meaning amateurs all doing their own thing.
It started life as the Amberley Chalkpits Museum but changed its title as, understandably not a lot of people wanted to look at a chalkpit.
However, the remains of Pepper & Coʼs industrial buildings (particularly the De Witt Kilns) are fascinating in there own right.
You often come across old limekilns (such as those at Beadnell) scattered around the country,
but here the whole thing is on a different scale.
Somewhere along the line, the museum seems to have lost sight of the importance of these kilns and the site in general, and got side-tracked by other things.
However that may soon be rectified if the current application for Heritage Lottery money goes through.
Elsewhere the site is an uneasy mix of very smart sponsored exhibits (such as BTʼs Connected Earth building
and the EDF Energy Electricity Hall),
the engagingly eccentric History of Concrete and general piles of old bits and pieces awaiting restoration/exhibition.
Probably the best way to arrive in Amberley would be by train. Amberley Station is almost perfectly preserved awaiting restoration.
Letʼs hope someone somewhere is planning to bring it back to its former glory.