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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

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What's On in Winchelsea?

  • Wild Woodland Weekend Club

    Saturday 25th June @ 10:00am
    Location: Beckley

    The monthly outdoor club where children aged 6-11 can explore, play and learn in the woods with campfires, mud, dens ... more

  • An Evening of Elizabethan Music with Meal

    Saturday 25th June
    Location: Iden

    In the beautiful setting of Oxenbridge Farm, just outside Rye in the village of Iden, listen to a selection of ... more

  • Moth Morning

    Sunday 26th June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    A huge variety of interesting and very beautiful moths visit the nature reserve. Come and look in our moth trap ... more

  • Phil Law, Reg Marchant and Steve Stone

    Sunday 26th June
    Location: Rye

    A jolly fine afternoon of music, food and laughter. Hosted at the piano by Phil Law with "rocking" Reg Marchant ... more

  • Andy Twyman

    Sunday 26th June @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Andy Twyman playing at the Wipers. Check website for any updates or changes. ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 1st July @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market sells local produce which includes: Cakes, Preserves, Savouries, Free Range Eggs, Seasonal Vegetables and Fruit, Unusual Plants, ... more

  • Local Heroes

    Friday 1st July @ 9:30pm
    Location: Rye

    Local Heroes playing at Wipers. Please check website for updates as music listing may be subject to change. ... more

  • An Introduction to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve... P

    Saturday 2nd July @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    In this third and final walk of the series, Barry Yates, the nature reserve’s manager, will explore the southwest part ... more

  • Grand Monthly Jumble

    Saturday 2nd July @ 10:30am
    Location: Rye

    Grand Jumble Sale in aid of ARRCC on the first Saturday of every month starting 7th May 2016. The Warehouse ... more

  • Under Winchelsea cellar tours

    Saturday 2nd July @ 2:00pm
    Location: Winchelsea

    Winchelsea boasts over 50 medieval cellars, a number rivalled only in Bristol, Southampton and Norwich. They were all built between ... more

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