What to See in England
By Gordon Home

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Public Domain Books

Winchelsea and Rye

=How to get there.=–Train from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, or London Bridge. South-Eastern and Chatham Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Winchelsea. =Distance from London.=–72 miles. =Average Time.=–Varies between 2-1/4 to 3 hours.

                     1st       2nd       3rd
=Fares.=–Single  12s. 0d.   7s. 6d.   6s. 0d.
          Return  21s. 0d.  15s. 0d.  12s. 0d.

=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"The New Inn,” etc., Winchelsea. =Routes.=–Via Ashford or via Hastings.

Winchelsea, situated about 8 miles from Hastings, though now a small village, was once an important seaport, being one of the Cinque Ports. It has suffered severely from the sea, having been completely destroyed in 1287 by an inundation. It was afterwards rebuilt by Edward I. on higher ground. The French made several attempts on the town, and in 1380 succeeded in capturing and burning it. The gradual decay of the port was due to the retiring of the sea in the fifteenth century, which rendered the harbour useless. Winchelsea is a pretty place with massive gateways, survivals of the old fortified town. In the centre of the village is a square containing the remains of the old Parish Church built in 1288 in the Decorated style. The nave and transepts have gone, having been destroyed by the French, and only the chancel remains. It contains some interesting canopied tombs, one being to Gervase Alard, Admiral of the Cinque Ports in 1383. John Wesley preached his last open-air sermon in the churchyard.

Rye lies 2 miles east of Winchelsea, and though more flourishing than the latter place, has much dwindled in importance, since it too was a Cinque Port. The town is built on a hill, and the steep, narrow streets are filled with quaint houses. The harbour is still visited by small fishing-boats. The French constantly attacked Rye, and in 1380 they succeeded in burning it. Overlooking the sea and belonging to the old wall is the Ypres Tower, built in the reign of Stephen by William de Ypres.

Close to the tower is the large Parish Church, which contains much Decorated Gothic work, although its oldest portions are Norman, the church having been partly rebuilt after the destruction caused by the French in 1380. It contains a wonderful clock, made in Queen Elizabeth’s reign, and said to be the oldest in England still in working order. It has a long pendulum which comes through the ceiling and swings in the church.

[Illustration: Photochrom Co., Ltd. WINCHELSEA CHURCH.

The French did much damage to the building in 1380, and portions of it are still in ruins.]


Preface  •  Ham House and Petersham  •  Walton-On-Thames (scold’s Bridle)  •  Harrow  •  Holwood House, Keston  •  Chigwell, Essex  •  Waltham Abbey and Cross  •  Downe  •  Epsom: Its Races and Its Salts  •  Epping Forest  •  Hampton Court  •  Rye House, Broxbourne  •  Hatfield House, Herts  •  Runnymead, the Signing of Magna Charta  •  The Oldest Brass in England  •  St. Albans  •  Stoke Poges Church, Bucks  •  Windsor  •  Jordans and William Penn  •  Knole House and Sevenoaks  •  Greenstead Church  •  Chalfont St. Giles  •  Westerham  •  Guildford, Surrey  •  Gad’s Hill  •  Ightham Mote, Kent  •  Penshurst  •  St. Michael’s Mount and Marazion  •  Rochester Cathedral  •  Tunbridge Wells  •  The Quintain Post At Offham and Malling Abbey  •  Eversley  •  Farnham, Surrey  •  Hindhead, Surrey  •  Shottermill  •  Penn’s Chapel At Thakeham, Sussex  •  Chawton the Home of Jane Austen  •  Selborne  •  Elstow  •  Lewes, Sussex  •  Bodiam Castle, Sussex  •  Colchester, Essex  •  Layer Marney  •  Battle Abbey  •  Cambridge  •  Arundel Castle  •  Olney, Bucks  •  Wantage and the Country of Alfred the Great  •  Canterbury and Its Cathedral  •  Reculvers  •  Oxford  •  Midhurst  •  Pevensey Castle  •  Savernake Forest  •  Ely Cathedral  •  St. Ives, Huntingdonshire  •  Winchelsea and Rye  •  Blenheim Palace  •  Peterborough Cathedral and Crowland  •  Peterborough  •  Southampton  •  Helmingham Hall  •  Stonehenge, Wiltshire  •  Netley Abbey  •  Salisbury and Its Cathedral  •  Sandwich, Kent  •  New Forest, Hampshire  •  Osborne House  •  Carisbrooke Castle  •  Lutterworth  •  Compton Wynyates  •  Kenilworth Castle  •  Belvoir Castle  •  Bath  •  Boston and the Pilgrim Fathers  •  Warwick  •  Gloucester and Its Cathedral  •  Norfolk Broads  •  Norwich Cathedral  •  Lichfield  •  Sherborne and Its Abbey Church  •  Newark  •  Wells and Its Cathedral  •  Stratford-On-Avon  •  Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk  •  Lulworth Cove, Dorsetshire  •  Corfe Castle  •  Lincoln and Its Cathedral  •  Somerset, the Birthplace of Tennyson  •  Glastonbury Abbey  •  Walsingham, Norfolk  •  Cheddar Caves, Cheddar, Somerset  •  Newstead Abbey  •  The Wessex of Thomas Hardy’s Romances  •  Tintern Abbey  •  Chesterfield, Derbyshire  •  Dukeries  •  Haddon Hall, Derbyshire  •  The Isle of Athelney, and Sedgemoor  •  Raglan Castle  •  Dovedale  •  Wellington and the Wrekin, Shropshire  •  Wroxeter and the Roman City of Uriconium, Salop  •  Buildwas Abbey, Shropshire  •  Ludlow and Its Castle  •  Shrewsbury  •  Buxton and the Peak District  •  Tewkesbury  •  Exeter and Its Cathedral  •  Market Drayton, Salop  •  Chester  •  Exmoor  •  Knutsford  •  Torr Steps On the Barle, Somerset  •  Cleeve Abbey, Somerset  •  Hawarden  •  York Minster  •  Coxwold, Yorkshire  •  Llangollen and Valle Crucis Abbey  •  Knaresborough, Dripping Well  •  Fountains Abbey  •  Ripon Cathedral  •  Dartmoor  •  Haworth  •  Rievaulx Abbey  •  Brixham, Devon  •  Conway Castle  •  The Doone Valley, Exmoor  •  Llandovery, South Wales  •  Dartmouth, Devon  •  Richmond, Yorkshire  •  Tintagel  •  Whitby  •  Carnarvon Castle  •  Plymouth  •  Durham and Its Cathedral  •  Raby Castle, Durham  •  Snowdon  •  Harlech Castle  •  Grasmere and Rydal Mount  •  The Lake District  •  St. Davids Cathedral  •  Furness Abbey, Lancashire  •  Monkwearmouth, Near Jarrow  •  The Isle of Man  •  Brantwood  •  Fowey  •  Hexham and Hadrian’s Wall  •  The Lake District  •  Keswick  •  Alnwick Castle  •  Lanercost Priory, Cumberland  •  Lanercost Priory and Stepping-Stones.]  •  St. Ives, Cornwall  •  Bamborough Castle, Northumberland

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What to see in England;: A guide to places of historic interest, natural beauty or literary association,
By Gordon Home
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