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Winchelsea, East Sussex

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Winchelsea, East Sussex

This article concerns the town in the United Kingdom. For the town in Victoria, Australia see Winchelsea, Victoria. {{#invoke:Coordinates|coord}}{{#coordinates:50.9251|0.7088|region:GB_type:city|||||| |primary |name= }} Winchelsea 240pxCastle Street, Winchelsea.
OS grid reference TQ9017     - London  54 miles NW  Civil parish Icklesham District Rother Shire county East Sussex Region South East Country England Sovereign state United Kingdom Post town WINCHELSEA Postcode district TN36 Dialling code 01797 Police Fire Ambulance EU Parliament South East England UK Parliament Hastings and Rye List of places UK England Winchelsea is a small town in East Sussex, England, located between the High Weald and the Romney Marsh, approximately two miles (3 km) south west of Rye and seven miles (12 km) north east of Hastings. The town stands on the site of a medieval town, founded in 1288, to replace an earlier town of the same name, sometimes known as Old Winchelsea, which was lost to the sea. The town is part of the civil parish of Icklesham. It is claimed by some residents that the town is in fact the smallest town in Britain, as there is a mayor and corporation in Winchelsea, but the claim is disputed by places such as Fordwich. The mayor of Winchelsea is chosen each year from amongst the members of the corporation, who are known as freemen, rather than being elected by public vote. New freemen are themselves chosen by existing members of the corporation. Thus, in its current form, the corporation is effectively a relict of Winchelsea's days as a 'rotten borough' (when Winchelsea elected two MPs but the number of voters was restricted to about a dozen, sometimes fewer). The corporation lost its remaining civil and judicial powers in 1886 but was preserved as a charity by an Act of Parliament in order to maintain the membership of the Cinque Port Confederation. The mayor and corporation in Winchelsea now have a largely ceremonial role, together with responsibility for the ongoing care and maintenance of the main listed ancient monuments in the town and the Winchelsea museum. Winchelsea constitutes neither a local government district, civil parish nor charter trustees area. In 2012, the village had the slowest broadband speed in the United Kingdom, with an average speed of 1.1Mbit/s, according to a survey done by uSwitch.
Administrative CountyEast Sussex
Traditional CountySussex
OS GridTQ9017
OS Settlement ClassificationOther settlement (village, hamlet etc)
RegionSouth East
Police AuthoritySussex
Fire and Rescue AuthorityEast Sussex
Fire and Rescue AuthorityEast Sussex
Ambulance AuthoritySouth East Coast
Dialling code01797

Other names by which Winchelsea, East Sussex has been known in the past


Winchelsea, East Sussex in John Bartholomew's "Gazetteer of the British Isles" (1887)

Winchelsea, ancient town and par. with ry. sta., Sussex, 3 miles SW. of Rye and 8 miles NE. of Hastings - par., 965 ac., pop. 613; ancient town, 4508 ac., pop. 1076; P.O., T.O. In Saxon times Winchelsea was one of the principal southern ports, and retained its importance until the 13th century, when it suffered from three inundations, by the last of which it was completely destroyed. The new town of Winchelsea was founded by Edward I. on Iham Hill, about 3 miles NW. of the old town. It suffered at various periods between 1359 and 1449 from attacks by the French; and the gradual withdrawal of the sea ultimately destroyed its harbour. It sent 2 members to Parliament from the time of Edward III. until 1832, when it was included in the parl. limits of Rye. Winchelsea gives the title of earl to the family of Finch-Hatton.

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