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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?

  • Shakespeare and Me

    Sunday 23rd September
    Location: Rye

    Martin Wimbush takes us on a personal journey, where he rediscovers the parts he’s played in Shakespeare and explores the ... more

  • City of London Choir

    Sunday 23rd September
    Location: Rye

    Founded in 1963, City of London Choir has enjoyed the direction of just two dedicated conductors: founder Donald Cashmore for ... more

  • Autumn Wildlife Walk 24/9 at Rye Harbour Nature Re

    Monday 24th September
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Join Barry for a two mile circular walk around part of this beautiful nature reserve looking at wildlife, history and ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellars Tour

    Monday 24th September
    Location: Winchelsea

    Fascinating tours led by expert local guides,into some of Winchelsea’s original 13th Century cellars, which are normally closed to the ... more

  • Buck Brass Trio

    Monday 24th September
    Location: Iden

    One of the leading young brass ensembles in the UK, the trio was formed in 2012 by graduates from London’s ... more

  • Black Narcissus

    Monday 24th September
    Location: Rye

    Fifty years after Rumer Godden became the tenant of Lamb House in Rye, we screen Powell & Pressburger’s melodramatic movie ... more

  • 50 Not Out – The Six Sixes Revisited

    Monday 24th September
    Location: Rye

    50 years ago Garry Sobers hit an historic 36 runs off six deliveries, thus conquering cricket’s Everest. In 2006, “the ... more

  • Rye Harbour Nature Reserve - What's So Special

    Tuesday 25th September
    Location: Rye

    The nature reserve at Rye Harbour is special for wildlife, with more than 4,000 species including about 300 that are ... more

  • Not About Heroes

    Tuesday 25th September
    Location: Rye

    Flying Bridge Theatre Co. & Seabright Productions Directed by Tim Baker Stephen MacDonald’s highly acclaimed Fringe First winning play about ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellars Tour

    Wednesday 26th September
    Location: Winchelsea

    Fascinating tours led by expert local guides,into some of Winchelsea’s original 13th Century cellars, which are normally closed to the ... more

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