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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?

  • Antique and Book Fair

    Wednesday 27th October @ 9:00am
    Location: Rye

    Lots of stalls with books and Antiques looking for Dealers of Books and Antiques to join us for this new ... more

  • Cookery Demonstration and Shopping Experience

    Wednesday 3rd November @ 2:00pm
    Location: Brede

    Cookery Demonstration - Effortless Catering by Gill Potterton of Glorious Food Ltd (private catering company, based in Brede) Venue: Brede ... more

  • If Eye Could Fly

    Wednesday 24th November for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    Welcome the change in season and escape into a world of vivid colours and vistas. Phil Brandon Hunter takes his ... more

  • Seagals Christmas SHOW

    Wednesday 8th December for 17 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    A mixture of unique textiles, jewellery and ceramic gifts for Christmas. By Ruth Praill, Elaine Baker and Meg Dodson. INSTAGRAM: ... more

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