We’re a group of locals working on promoting the region of Winchelsea to the wider audience. We have a great love for our town and want other people to come and visit this little gem we call home. Having lived most of our lives here, we believe there a lot for this town to offer tourists in Southern England and from afar. There’s something you may not know about us. We’re the smallest town in England.
Winchelsea is a beautiful Sussex village built on the back of a medieval town. It is a hidden delight for visitors to discover, but also home to an active community of local bakers, museums, restaurants and even a theater.
What is now a peaceful and picturesque community of 600 people, Winchelsea was once a major hub for the medieval wine trade. It had the honour of being a major port town, a favourite of the crown and a town of national importance.
Winchelsea is rare example in England of a settlement laid out on a grid pattern. The town offers vistas along wide, straight streets even to this day. The town’s medieval stone-vaulted cellars are very famous. They held large quantities of wine and regular guided tours are available throughout the summer months.
The town of Winchelsea was founded by Edward I to take the place of an older town of the same name that had been lost to the sea in a series of thundering and prolonged storms. Old Winchelsea was one of the main important ports on the Narrow Seas. It had the honour along with Rye, of being invited to join the Cinq Port Confederation as a Head Port. New Winchelsea swiftly filled the gap left by Old Winchelsea, rising to the status of an Ancient Town (a revered town). However, the prosperity of the new town was gradually sapped by the silting of its harbor and shifts in the pattern of trade. Other disasters such as war and plague also affected the town greatly which led to its eventual downfall.