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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?

  • General Sale

    Friday 17th August
    Location: Rye

    Viewing Thursday 16th 9.00 – 4.30pm ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 17th August @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Guestling Flower Festival

    Friday 17th August for 3 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Guestling

    St. Laurence Church Guestling Annual Flower Festival - the theme for this year’s event is “Observer’s Books”. Lunches (including Ploughman’s), ... more

  • Annual Exhibition Of Paintings - Tuesday Painters

    Friday 17th August for 11 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Annual Exhibition of Paintings opens to the public Friday 17th August at 3pm and thereafter daily 10am to 5.30pm including ... more

  • Guided Walk of Rye

    Friday 17th August
    Location: Rye

    Two-hour guided walk around Rye including a visit to the Town Hall and its secret attic museum containing the infamous ... more

  • As You Like It - Lamb Players

    Friday 17th August for 3 days
    Location: Fairlight

    The Lamb Players present 'As You Like It' at Fairlight Hall. Tickets: £18 visit https://thelambplayers.com/ to book or available from ... more

  • Rye and District County Show

    Saturday 18th August @ 10:00am
    Location: Icklesham

    A great day for everyone with lots of entertainment including a traditional horse and dog show live acts, classic cars, ... more

  • Guided Walk of Rye

    Saturday 18th August
    Location: Rye

    Two-hour guided walk around Rye including a visit to the Town Hall and its secret attic museum containing the infamous ... more

  • Rye Annual Flower and Vegetable Show

    Saturday 18th August
    Location: Rye

    Rye Annual Flower and Vegetable Show - open to all. Schedules end of June. (Details 01797 223723). ... more

  • Guided Walk of Rye

    Saturday 18th August
    Location: Rye

    Two-hour guided walk around Rye including a visit to the Town Hall and its secret attic museum containing the infamous ... more

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