Sunday, 5 January 2014

Winchelsea, East Sussex

At last I am back to posting on some of our trips from last year and believe it or not, I still have a few from late 2012.
After the weather we have had here through December and continuing into January it's good to look back on some finer weather.
We are fortunate, we do not live near to a river and we are on a hill but thousands in the south and west, and some further north, have had their homes flooded for the second time in weeks and some of the coastal areas are devastated with roads torn up and railway lines twisted. My heart and prayers go out to them.
I am also aware of the extreme weather in North America and only today on the news it said that the new ice and snow storms there will be here in a few days but because of the current mild temperature, it will fall as rain bringing hundreds more flood alerts.
So as much as I am looking back and enjoying some better weather I am not forgetting those who are suffering right now. 

Those who regularly follow my blog will be aware that September found us in Rye. We did not stay in the centre of Rye but 2 miles outside in the small town of Winchelsea.
The Strand House B & B that we stayed in is at the bottom of the hill on the left on the other side of the railings, so we chose to scramble up the hill as a short cut into the town 

where we pass through Strand Gate which was once part of the coastal defences of the Cinque Ports, which are 5 towns on the coast of Kent and Sussex. The various castles were built to defend invasion from France which is only 21 miles away at the narrowest part of the English Channel. 

Looking back towards the coast

Where we drove to the following day with sun and blue sky

Back in Winchelsea with the town sign
The town was founded in 1288 by Edward I

Where we walk around the Parish Church of St. Thomas the Martyr (built in 1215) which is a combination of ruins (where it was partially destroyed in the late 15th century) and the part that is very much still in use today. 

and here in the churchyard we see the grave of
Spike Milligan 

Continuing to walk around the town

I really like the way these box shrubs have been grown

Here we see the town well from 1851

The New Inn and hotel

and straight opposite the tree under which John Wesley preached his last open air sermon on 7th October 1790

John Wesley first preached in Winchelsea in 1771 and the Townspeople were so taken with his preaching that they responded in 1785 by building a preaching house, known locally as The John Wesley Chapel. 
It is unique and contains many of the original features but unfortunately it was closed when we visited 

The Old Court Hall now a Museum which in the 19th century was also the town gaol, holding up to 12 prisoners in very cramped conditions
Parts of the building are 700 years old 

and lastly the underground Medieval cellars
There are 56 altogether and 33 of them are currently accessible to the public through a guided tour
The cellars were built for the wine trade in the 14th century when
4 million bottles a year passed this way.
These pictures were taken on 2 different days which is obvious by the mixed blue and grey skies


Vee said...

Well this post sent me on a merry romp through the www. (Methodism...New England circuit riders...George Whitefield...quite the ride.) You could write a book, but then I know you've been told that often. I do think the name Winchelsea is lovely and the town certainly is.

May the coming storms be mild as can be or, better yet, may they fade out. It sounds as if there's plenty enough for folks to be dealing with.

Lori Zehr said...

I always love your wonderful posts! We got 14 inches of snow in about 24 hrs. -3 degrees F. here and windchills of -30-40F. We had to make a 37mile trip yesterday because my husband was installed as senior pastor at a church to which we've been called! Coming home from services was treacherous, but we made it just in time before the worst of the blizzard hit! We are now under emergency road restrictions in our county due to the weather.

Lori Zehr said...

Additionally...I loved seeing the references to locations where John Wesley preached. I love to read about great men and women of the faith!

Gracie Saylor said...

When the world around us is troubled with floods, and earthquakes, wars, and destructive winds and we reach out to practically help and pray for those suffering, it is all the more amazing and encouraging to me to see photos like yours that show the historic sites that have survived the challenges of time. Thanks for sharing, Barbara.

Lorrie said...

Your photos have me marveling at the stone towers and gates (and cellars) that have stood through so many centuries. Such interesting tidbits you provide in your post. Loved the history about John Wesley.
I'm glad you're not suffering ill effects from the storms. There's severe weather in so many parts of the world these days.

Terri said...

Love the history and architecture there. Thanks for sharing your pictures.

CherryPie said...

This looks like a fascinating place to visit.

Merisi said...

Benaeth so much beauty, the former jail is a reminder of how much we need to be grateful for living in the present. Not all is going well, but more people have a chance to lead a decent life.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing place to visit. The old buildings and their histories are fascinating. I have never walked around any structures that were built in 1215. How exciting for you and also for your readers to be able to see this area.

Needled Mom said...

Your traveling posts always make me want to book a visit! That is a charming town with such a wonderful history attached to it. I'm glad to see that you had blue skies for the visit - at least one day.

Sara said...

You are so good about giving us information to go along with the photos from your jaunts out and about to various places. I remember reading about Winchelsea in that diary by a New Zealand woman who went on a walking tour of the south of England with a friend between the wars. She visited the cellars too.