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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?

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 24th November @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Winter Salon

    Friday 24th November @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    This year Rye Creative Centre held an open call for visual artists across the UK and Europe. The response from ... more

  • Aladdin the Pantomime

    Friday 24th November for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    Acting Up in Rye presents Aladdin. Be prepared to be transported from the streets of Peking to the mountains of ... more

  • Feast Of Delights Designer & Maker's Fair

    Saturday 25th November for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    Join us at Rye Creative Centre for our annual festive Designer and Maker’s Fair. This year, over two days (10am-4pm), ... more

  • Ordinary Icons

    Saturday 25th November @ 10:30am
    Location: Rye

    Join talented artist and educator Julia Andrews-Clifford for a fun workshop. Produce a 3D collage portrait – this could be ... more

  • Beginners Birds - Winter Waders

    Saturday 25th November @ 1:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Get to grips with those tricky winter waders with this short course for beginner birdwatchers. Binoculars and field guides available ... more

  • Guided Ghost Walk of Rye

    Saturday 25th November @ 5:00pm
    Location: Rye

    A unique opportunity to explore the ancient streets of Rye after dark with the Deputy Town Cryer. Hear tales of ... more

  • WBCA Christmas Craft Fayre

    Sunday 26th November @ 11:00am
    Location: Winchelsea Beach

    Winchelsea Beach Community Association are presenting a Christmas Craft Fayre with the emphasis on Real Craft at Christmas. Plenty of ... more

  • Jazz Supper at The Mermaid

    Thursday 30th November @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    The star guest this month will be acclaimed singer/songwriter musician/comic Earl Okin who has performed all over the world – ... more

  • Rye Country Market

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

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

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