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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?

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 23rd November @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Jazz in the Village

    Friday 23rd November
    Location: Pett

    An evening of high quality, sophisticated, melodic jazz with the emphasis on improvisation with Ian Millar – saxophone and Dominic ... more

  • Kate Iles

    Saturday 24th November for 51 days
    Location: Rye

    A little show for Christmas. Peek behind the curtain, where you will spy Kate’s magical illuminated picture boxes and feel ... more

  • Udimore Christmas Fayre

    Saturday 24th November @ 10:30am
    Location: Udimore

    Come and meet Father Christmas and his reindeer at the Udimore Christmas Fayre. St Mary's Community Hall, Udimore, Rye, TN31 ... more

  • Beginners Birds - Winter Waders

    Saturday 24th November @ 1:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Get to grips with those tricky winter waders with this short course for beginner birdwatchers. Binoculars and field guides available ... more

  • Christmas Craft Fayre

    Sunday 25th November @ 11:00am
    Location: Winchelsea Beach

    Lovely hand-crafted Christmas goods and ideas. Cards, jewellery, screen printing, and lots of other stalls. Refreshments, including tea, coffee, and ... more

  • Jazz Supper feat. gypsy violinist Peter Sellars

    Thursday 29th November @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Charismatic violinist Peter Sellars joins the Annie Dehaney Steven Trio for our Jazz Supper this month. In the 60 years ... more

  • Christmas Try and Buy

    Friday 30th November
    Location: East Guldeford

    Salts Farm Shop is holding a Christmas Try & Buy Event: meet some of our local suppliers and sample their ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 30th November @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Ocean Ceramics Open Studio

    Saturday 1st December for 2 days
    Location: Winchelsea Beach

    New designs, unique hand-made gifts for Christmas, plus signed copies of “The Ghost of Camber Castle” children’s book and some ... more

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