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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?

  • Margins

    Friday 30th July for 22 days
    Location: Rye

    This first group exhibition in the recently refurbished Old Gym will be curated by artist Matthew Burrows, the founder of ... more

  • Nature Refocused: Water and Woodland

    Wednesday 4th August for 12 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    The Red Door Gallery is pleased to announce a new exhibition hosted by Scarlett Woodman and Hannah Buchanan between 4th ... more

  • Tuesday Painters Club of Rye

    Friday 13th August for 10 days @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    ART EXHIBITION of members' work Open daily 10.00a.m. - 5.30p.m. From Friday13th to Sunday 22nd August Oil, Acrylic, Watercolour, Pen ... more

  • Reflections by Caroline Anderson

    Wednesday 18th August for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    Caroline Anderson is a creative arts psychotherapist and a sky seascape artist. The influence of her life on Sark runs ... more

  • Beckley Church Fete

    Monday 30th August @ 1:00pm
    Location: Beckley

    Beckley Church Fete - Bank Holiday Monday Fun for all including:- - brass band - dog show with prizes - ... more

  • Rye Flower and Veg Show

    Saturday 4th September @ 8:30am
    Location: Rye

    The annual "open to everyone" Flower and Veg Show with classes and prizes for vegetables, fruit, flowers, plants, photography, cookery ... more

  • Colour and Light

    Wednesday 15th September for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    Red Door are delighted to welcome back Clare Summons and Maggie Brand. Clare and Maggie are 2 ex teachers embarking ... more

  • 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

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