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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


What's On in Winchelsea?

  • General Sale

    Friday 21st October
    Location: Rye

    Viewing Thursday 20th 9.00 – 4.30pm ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 21st October @ 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

  • Leigh Highwood Band at the Ypres

    Friday 21st October
    Location: Rye

    Leigh Highroad Band play live music at the Ypres Castle Inn. ... more

  • Wild Boar Week

    Saturday 22nd October for 9 days
    Location: Rye

    Wild Boar Week in Rye, East Sussex offers the perfect opportunity to indulge in culinary delights from the countryside … ... more

  • Rye Medieval Conference

    Saturday 22nd October @ 9:00am
    Location: Rye

    The 6th Rye Medieval Conference is an all-day conference featuring speakers from well-known universities. This year's event is titled "Conspicuous ... more

  • Wild Boar Hog Hunt

    Saturday 22nd October for 9 days
    Location: Rye

    Over 100 shops in Rye will celebrate Wild Boar Week by displaying a page from the Children’s Book “Where’s Boris” ... more

  • Tatners at Olde Worlde Wines

    Saturday 22nd October
    Location: Rye

    Last of the Summer Swine - Glazed, Slow and Sticky Wild Boar Belly Ribs with Shredded Asian Salad, Coriander, Fresh ... more

  • Sunset Serenade

    Saturday 22nd October @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    The Rye and District Dementia Action Alliance are putting on a show at the ARCC Thretre in New Road - ... more

  • Flossie Malavialle sings Brel, Piaf & More

    Saturday 22nd October
    Location: Winchelsea

    Fabulous french singer, Flossie Malavialle returns to Winchelsea together with Paul Donnelly (guitar) and Chris Parkinson (accordion). Flossie sings the ... more

  • Bobby Fuego's Fat Finger of Funk

    Saturday 22nd October
    Location: Rye

    Bobby Fuego's Fat Finger of Funk offer a funky gumbo and serve it up hot for your listening pleasure! ... more


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