Title: Amberley Castle
Description: Built as a manor house and once belonging to the Bishops of Chichester, it was not until 1377 that it was turned into a castle in order to protect the nearby river. In 1989 the castle was purchased by the present owners and opened as a luxurious hotel. Visits should only be made by prior appointment as the castle is not open for public viewing.
Address: Church St, , Amberley, West Sussex
Post Code: BN18 9ND
Built as a manor house and once belonging to the Bishops of Chichester, it was not until 1377 that it was turned into a castle. Bishop Reede added crenellations and towers to protect the nearby River Arun, which used to be navigable at this point.
Reached from the south via a causeway and then a drawbridge across a dry moat, the main entrance is set between twin circular towers, which once protected the castle from attack. To the north, the massive curtain walls rise from the marshes of Amberley Wild Brooks.
Dating from the fourteenth century, the Great Hall can be found inside the walls, as can the splendid barrel vaulted ceiling and lancet windows in the Queens Room. This was once part of the dining room, which was divided into two floors.
In the fourteenth century, Queen Elizabeth I held the lease and it was not until 1749 that it moved into private hands when purchased by James Butler. Charles II is reported to have stayed here on route to Shoreham when he fled to France and the Queens Room Murals were commissioned after another of his visits.
Having suffered during the Civil War, the Castle was purchased in 1893 by the Duke of Norfolk who began the job of restoring the battlements. Over the years, various owners improved and altered the Castle's architecture and in 1989 the building was purchased by the present owners and opened as a luxurious hotel.