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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?

  • De La Warr Pavilion – a Modernist masterpiece

    Wednesday 19th September
    Location: Rye

    In 1934 a new structure started to emerge on the south coast at Bexhill, unlike anything seen in this country ... more

  • Lorna McGhee (flute) & Anne Marshall (piano)

    Wednesday 19th September
    Location: Rye

    Music of love, loss and remembrance: a flute and piano recital. Programme: “Aus liebe will mein heiland sterben” (arr. Bennett) ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellars Tour

    Thursday 20th September
    Location: Winchelsea

    Fascinating tours led by expert local guides,into some of Winchelsea’s original 13th Century cellars, which are normally closed to the ... more

  • Laura Snowden - Guitar

    Thursday 20th September
    Location: Iden

    Award-winning classical guitarist and composer Laura Snowden was hand-picked by Julian Bream to give the Julian Bream Trust concerts at ... more

  • Dining with Macbeth

    Thursday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    A shortened version of the play in which the actors perform scenes between each course, interacting with the tables in ... more

  • Dining With Macbeth

    Thursday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    An immersive dining experience ... Fame, glory, love, power, wealth, sex, happiness … but at what cost? How far will ... more

  • Hastings Philharmonic with Kenny Broberg

    Thursday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    In a new collaboration between Rye Arts Festival, Fairlight Arts Trust and Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition, we are delighted ... more

  • Andy Kershaw

    Thursday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    Radio and TV Presenter, DJ and Music Enthusiast This one-man show is a two-hour audio-visual presentation about Andy’s life, career, ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 21st September @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 9th March - 14th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Serial Killers

    Friday 21st September
    Location: Rye

    Paul Harrison - Paul was one of the first UK police officers to work closely with the FBI’s Behavioral Science ... more

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