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Winchelsea

Winchelsea in East Sussex

Winchelsea is a historic ancient town which stands two miles west of the town of Rye. It was founded in 1288 as a port town to replace Old Winchelsea, which was overwhlemed by the sea during the 13th century, and is a splendid example of a medieval planned town, with a grid pattern of streets.

Winchelsea, along with Rye, was one of the 'Ancient Towns' who joined the Cinque Port Confederation in the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, the town was attacked by the French and Spanish, but its demise came with the gradual silting of its harbour. Winchelsea was still fairly prosperous in 1500 but by 1560, it had dwindled to a "settlement" of 60 households.

One of the founders of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, preached his last outdoor sermon in the town on the 7th October 1790, when he was aged 87.

Today, Winchelsea is an unspoilt small town of much character, well worth exploring, with delightful walks and fine views towards the coast. There is a pub and a motel, both providing accommodation and serving lunchtime and evening meals, and a small coffee shop. Visitors may be interested in the surviving town gates, the medieval Church of St Thomas and a small museum which is open daily during the summer months. In the churchyard is the grave of much-loved comedian Spike Milligan.

Other Towns and Villages Near Winchelsea

Event

What's On in Winchelsea?

  • Elem Tree Boot Fair

    Sunday 22nd April
    Location: Icklesham

    On the main road (A259) from Hastings to Rye - just outside Icklesham. ... more

  • Guided Tour Of Brede High Woods At Bluebell Time

    Wednesday 25th April @ 10:00am
    Location: Brede

    A guided tour of Brede High Woods at Bluebell time, led David Bonsall of the Woodland Trust. Booking is essential, ... more

  • Salts Farm Book Group

    Thursday 26th April
    Location: East Guldeford

    Salts Farm Book Group meets on the last Thursday of the month in the cafe area of Salts Farm Shop. ... more

  • WI Evening Group

    Thursday 26th April
    Location: Playden

    Information evening for a possible new evening WI, open to all women 18 and above living or working in Playden/Rye ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 27th April @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 9th March - 14th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellar Tours

    Saturday 28th April
    Location: Winchelsea

    Each year a team of volunteers run guided tours of the town’s medieval cellars. All proceeds received (£6 per person) ... more

  • Walking, Talking and Drawing at Rye Art Gallery

    Sunday 29th April
    Location: Rye

    Walking, Talking and Drawing at Rye Art Gallery. Using the wonderful Stormont Studio at the Gallery as a base, Denise ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellar Tours

    Sunday 29th April
    Location: Winchelsea

    Each year a team of volunteers run guided tours of the town’s medieval cellars. All proceeds received (£6 per person) ... more

  • Winchelsea Open Gardens

    Tuesday 1st May @ 10:30am
    Location: Winchelsea

    Eight beautiful gardens open in Wichelsea offering herbaceous borders, strawberry teas, Victorian rockery, water features and more. Proceeds in aid ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellar Tours

    Tuesday 1st May
    Location: Winchelsea

    Each year a team of volunteers run guided tours of the town’s medieval cellars. All proceeds received (£6 per person) ... more

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