Real home

A con­verted barn close to Am­ber­ley Cas­tle’s walls

Sussex Life - - Inside -

Dat­ing back to the 14th cen­tury Am­ber­ley Cas­tle’s cur­tain wall dom­i­nates the sky­line around the vil­lage, and houses a struc­ture which was men­tioned in the Domes­day Book.

But close by is a beau­ti­fully re­stored for­mer barn, now a sixbed­room home with stun­ning views across the West Sus­sex coun­try­side. The 17th cen­tury barn was con­verted by its cur­rent owner 15 years ago, hav­ing orig­i­nally been built to serve the bish­ops of Chich­ester who made Am­ber­ley Cas­tle their home after the Re­for­ma­tion. Dove­cote Press’ 2002 book West Sus­sex Barns and Farm Build­ings says the orig­i­nal barn was built in two phases, with pig pens and a calf shed added in the 19th cen­tury. A well, in the north end of the barn, was in use un­til the 1930s to pump wa­ter to the cas­tle. “Basil Strud­wick, the last farmer, re­mem­bers with af­fec­tion the old Sus­sex wag­ons creak­ing in from the har­vest fields laden with corn sheaves. The wag­ons would draw into the great barn, where the sheaves were off­loaded and stored un­til thresh­ing time, when the thresh­ing ma­chine would be ma­noeu­vred into the porch.”

Ian Nairn and Niko­las Pevs­ner’s The Build­ings of Eng­land de­scribes it as a “good big barn”, adding its roof was orig­i­nally thatched, but has since been re­placed by tile.

The con­ver­sion it­self took 14

“The con­ver­sion it­self took 14 months. It takes ad­van­tage of the barn’s nat­u­ral light and height”

months. It takes ad­van­tage of the barn’s nat­u­ral light and height, with dual as­pect win­dows in the cen­tral din­ing en­trance hall and triple as­pect win­dows in the sit­ting room.

The main en­trance is through the din­ing hall, with doors off to a fam­ily room, a TV room, the sit­ting room, which boasts an in­glenook fire­place, and three en suite bed­rooms. The kitchen and break­fast room are in the east wing. The kitchen is fit­ted with two range cook­ers and be­spoke kitchen units, with an ad­di­tional util­ity room.

Up­stairs there are three fur­ther en suite bed­rooms, each with their own shower, ac­cessed from a gal­leried land­ing.

In the grounds is an an­nexe, of­fer­ing two one-bed­room con­ver­sions, each with their own sit­ting room and bath­room, mak­ing them per­fect for Airbnb hire. There is also a store, garage and car barn which could dou­ble up as a work­shop. The prop­erty is com­pletely sur­rounded by gar­dens which cap­ture the sun at all times of the day. They of­fer stun­ning views over Wild Brooks, the cas­tle struc­ture and the South Downs Na­tional Park.

The vil­lage of Am­ber­ley has its own com­mu­nity shop, two pubs, one of which is cur­rently be­ing re­fur­bished, and a pri­mary school which is cur­rently rated good by Of­sted. Am­ber­ley Cas­tle it­self is a pri­vately owned ho­tel and restau­rant. There are rail links to Lon­don Vic­to­ria from Am­ber­ley rail­way sta­tion which is a mile from the vil­lage. There are fur­ther shops and fa­cil­i­ties in Stor­ring­ton, four miles away, Arun­del, which is six miles away, and the city of Chich­ester which is 13 miles to the west. The south coast is only ten miles to the south at Lit­tle­hamp­ton.

“The gar­dens cap­ture the sun at all times of the day”

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