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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?

  • Piano Recital

    Wednesday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    In March this year Kenneth Broberg won the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition with a fine performance of Gershwin’s rarely ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellars Tour

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Winchelsea

    There will be seven similar tours over the two weeks of the Festival. The tours are led by expert local ... more

  • Let IT Go

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Rye

    Here is your chance to read the book of the film-to-be. Dame Stephanie Shirley will be introducing her memoir Let ... more

  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Rye

    A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Bowler Crab Productions Come and dine in the Tudor Room and be transported to another ... more

  • Clueless

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Rye

    The Festival is celebrating Jane Austen’s 200th anniversary with a clever and funny reworking of Emma, set in 1995 Beverly ... more

  • General Sale

    Friday 22nd September
    Location: Rye

    Viewing Thursday 21st 9.00 – 4.30pm ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 22nd September @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Beyond the Roadshow

    Friday 22nd September
    Location: Rye

    Andy McConnell celebrates his 40th anniversary in glass with this light-hearted glance back at his career. It covers life as ... more

  • Open Studios

    Friday 22nd September for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    Rye Creative Centre opens its doors for a rare look inside the studios. You can meet the New Road Artists, ... more

  • Spanish Glories of the 16th Century

    Friday 22nd September
    Location: Rye

    TENEBRAE conducted by Nigel Short. Described as “phenomenal”, The Times and “devastatingly beautiful”, Gramophone Magazine, award-winning choir Tenebrae, under the ... more

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