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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 21st June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Local Produce, Cakes, Jams, Crafts and more. ... more

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Friday 21st June for 2 days
    Location: Three Oaks

    Open Air Shakespeare performed in grounds of 16thC farm house. Half House Farm, Butchers Lane, Three Oaks, TN35 4NE. Bring ... more

  • Summer Fete

    Saturday 22nd June @ 1:00pm
    Location: Rye Foreign

    Summer Fete in the grounds of the Rye and Winchelsea Hospital, Peasmarsh Road, Rye Foreign, Rye TN31 7UD. To raise ... more

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Sunday 23rd June
    Location: Three Oaks

    Open Air Shakespeare performed in grounds of 16thC farm house. Half House Farm, Butchers Lane, Three Oaks, TN35 4NE. Bring ... more

  • Tawnya Renelle On Tour - Free event!

    Monday 24th June @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    This June we are delighted to host International poet Tawnya Renelle who is promoting her spring collection book 'a little ... more

  • Jazz Supper

    Thursday 27th June
    Location: Rye

    Swing, bossa nova and easy-listening tunes from innovative bassist David Silk, multi-instrumentalist Phil Brown who plays not just saxophone but ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 28th June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Local Produce, Cakes, Jams, Crafts and more. ... more

  • Jenny Bush 'An Eye for Detail'

    Wednesday 3rd July for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    Red Door is delighted to welcome Jenny Bush for her show entitled 'An Eye for Detail' where she interprets flora, ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 5th July @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Local Produce, Cakes, Jams, Crafts and more. ... more

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream

    Thursday 11th July for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    Five years after Bowler Crab’s 2013 debut feature production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, they return to this classic, magical ... more

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