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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?

  • East Surrey Morris Men

    Sunday 28th May @ 12:15pm
    Location: Rye

    East Surrey Morris Men at the Mermaid Inn as part of their annual visit. Free admission. ... more

  • Charity Boot Fair

    Monday 29th May @ 7:00am
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Hard-standing pitches from £5 on the day - donated to Rother Responders. Free admission and parking for visitors. ... more

  • Brilliant Birds

    Tuesday 30th May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Find out about the amazing seabirds that nest here with a short walk to our bird-watching hides where you will ... more

  • Go Bug Hunting

    Wednesday 31st May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Go a-hunting with the warden, Chris, as he takes a closer look at the fascinating and bizarre world of insects ... more

  • Go Bug Hunting

    Wednesday 31st May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Go a-hunting with the warden, Chris, as he takes a closer look at the fascinating and bizarre world of insects ... more

  • Rockpool Ramble

    Thursday 1st June @ 10:30am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Explore the shore searching in the rockpools for fascinating marine creatures such as hermit crabs, prawns, blennies and whelks. Please ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 2nd June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 10th March - 15th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Rye Auction Galleries - Antique and Collectables

    Friday 2nd June
    Location: Rye

    Auction day open from 8.30 sale commences at 10.00am. For further details, dates for taking in and catalogue visit http://www.ryeauctiongalleries.com/sale-dates/ ... more

  • La La Land

    Friday 2nd June
    Location: Rye

    Rye Film Club present - Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress serves lattes to movie stars in between her auditions, ... more

  • Cream Tea

    Saturday 3rd June
    Location: Iden

    Afternoon cream tea, all welcome. Tea, scones, cream and jam plenty of cake - in aid of Village Hall Funds. ... more

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Winchelsea Message Board