Winchelsea, (East Sussex)

Parish picture

Winchelsea is located 2 miles to the South West of Rye on the A259.

Old Winchelsea was located on an island between what is now known as Rye Harbour and Winchelsea Beach.

Before the Norman conquest it used to have its own mint, and became a port of considerable importance in the 11th century. However in 1250 it was partially submerged by the sea. Sixteen years later in 1266 it was sacked by Prince Edward, in order to put an end to the indiscriminate piracy rife amongst Winchelsea's seamen. Then in 1287 a great storm destroyed Old Winchelsea and the townsfolk who survived moved to the present site.

Parish picture

The new town, built by Edward I, was designed on the grid system, and with it's tidal harbour on the river Brede, Winchelsea became a member of the Cinque Ports Federation, providing ships for the defence of the country. Although not one of the Cinque ports, Winchelsea was an 'Antient Town' affiliated to the Cinque ports, similar to Rye.

In the 14th and 15th centuries the French attacked and plundered the town seven times, devastating the buildings and reducing the population over the years from 6,000 to only a few hundred.

Places of worship:

Church details, together with baptism, marriage, monumental inscription & burial records can be accessed by clicking on the church name.

Grey Friars Monastery

Methodist Chapel

St Giles

St Leonard

St Richard, Winchelsea Beach

St Thomas the Martyr

Census returns:

The OPC Database has no census returns for people residing in this parish yet.

People born in this parish but residing elsewhere:

21 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1861 census.


Grid reference: 590500, 117500 ~ View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.

Poll Registers:

The OPC database contains 109 poll register entries for people entitled to vote in this parish.

1641 Protestation Returns:

There are no protestation returns for this parish in the OPC database.


The OPC database contains 48 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.


There are 173 images depicting this parish in the OPC database.

Postal directories:

The OPC database contains 30 postal directory entries for this parish, (breakdown below).

30 entries from the 1823 Pigot's Directory of Sussex.

The OPC database contains the following directory sections which cover this parish.

1791 Universal British Directory for Winchelsea.

1823 Pigot's Directory of Sussex for Winchelsea.

1867 Kelly's Directory for Winchelsea is available on the GENUKI pages

1840 Pigot Directory for Winchelsea

1851 Post Office Directory for Winchelsea


There are 3 books about this parish in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.

There are 10 articles about this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.

There are 3 people from this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Society Members Index.


The OPC database contains no wills of people who lived in this parish.

The OPC database contains no wills that mention this parish.

Interest in this parish:

No registered users have badged this parish yet. To share your interest with others, why not register as a frequent user of this site?

Please contact the OPC co-ordinator if you have information or links you would like to contribute.

Remember that OPCs are volunteers and are unlikely to have information not listed on this page.

Please be courteous and patient - they, like you, have busy lives and will try and respond as quickly as they can.

The advertisements below are served by Google; the very small revenue generated when people click on them sometimes covers the cost of hosting the Sussex OPC website.