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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

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What's On in Winchelsea?

  • Tuesday Painters Art Club of Rye Annual Exhibition

    Friday 14th August for 10 days @ 2:30pm
    Location: Rye

    Annual Exhibition of members' work. Friday, 14th Aug. 2020 from 2.30-5.30 then daily 10.00-5.30 until and including Sunday, 23rd August ... more

  • Gabrielle

    Friday 28th August
    Location: Rye

    A unique and intimate concert with the highly acclaimed multi award-winning British singer Gabrielle Gabrielle performs the opening headline concert ... more

  • Incognito

    Saturday 29th August
    Location: Rye

    The festival proudly present one of the most iconic British jazz funk bands, Incognito. You can expect to hear irresistible ... more

  • China Moses

    Sunday 30th August
    Location: Rye

    We proudly present one of the most electrifying live performers on the international music scene. China Moses is a high ... more

  • Charity Boot Fair

    Monday 31st August @ 7:00am
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Bank Holiday Charity Boot Fair. Hard-standing pitch from £5 (donated to Rye Day Centre). Gates open at 7am. Free admission ... more

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