New Winchelsea Town Wall

Has been described as a Certain Urban Defence

There are major building remains

NameNew Winchelsea Town Wall
Alternative NamesWinceleseia; Winchenesel; Winchelsay; Wynchelse; Yhamme; Ihamme; The Strand Gate; North Gate; Pipewell Gate; Land Gate; Ferry Gate; New Gate
Historic CountrySussex
Modern AuthorityEast Sussex
1974 AuthorityEast Sussex
Civil ParishIcklesham

The town wall of Winchesea is said to have been built circa 1415, of which there are uncertain remains, and a conjectural course. (PastScape)

The Strand Gate; One of the medieval gates of the town. Late C13. Four round turrets joined North and South by side walls and East and West by two archways, each having a portcullis groove. Above the arches was a solid portion which had stone vaulting, now fallen away. Parapet over. Loop windows. (Listed Building Report)

The Pipewell or Land Gate; The second of the medieval gates of the town, also at one time called the Ferry Gate. Rebuilt in the early C15 after the French had burned the town in 1380. Stone rubble. Two four-centred archways with the lower portion of a square tower over, though the centre of the roof above the archways has fallen in. (Listed Building Report)

The New Gate; Ruin of the third of the medieval gates of the town which one stretched as far as this point. Late C13. Stone rubble. High four-centred archway with splayed flanking portions containing recesses. (Listed Building Report)

Gatehouse Comments

Piece of wall and three gates survive of a walled model town founded 1283. Much of circuit of defence may never have got beyond a ditch and bank. Murage first granted 1295. The licence to crenellate issued by Henry V in c.1415 was to permit a smaller line of defence to be fortified. The 'toothing' in the three extant gates suggest the wall, if constructed, was thin (40-50cm). However as this wall was probably for much of its length a revetment of the hillside such thinness may not have been an issue. The wall could have looked impressive particularly from the seaward side. It is likely, despite the comment in PastScape, to have dated from the late C13. A fourth gate is now lost. There is reportedly one short section of wall surviving by a path to a spring, where it revets the hillside but the otherwise complete lack of any sign of remains is noticeable. However, in later years Rye did make considerable efforts to save its harbour and much stone and rubble, robbed from Winchelsea, may have been used in these works.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law

Historic England Scheduled Monument Number
Historic England Listed Building number(s)
Images Of England
Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceTQ904171
Latitude50.9268112182617
Longitude0.707620024681091
Eastings590400
Northings117100
HyperLink HyperLink HyperLink
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved
Photograph by Philip Davis. All rights reserved

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Books

  • Salter, Mike, 2013, Medieval Walled Towns (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 144-6
  • Purton, P.F., 2010, A History of the Late Medieval Siege: 1200-1500 (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press) p. 137
  • Lilley, K, Lloyd, C. and Trick, S., 2005, Mapping Medieval Townscapes: a digital atlas of the new towns of Edward I online copy
  • Creighton, O.H. and Higham, R.A., 2005, Medieval Town Walls (Stroud: Tempus) p. 18, 24, 72, 98-99, 139, 278
  • < >Martin, D. and Martin, B. et al, 2004, New Winchelsea, Sussex: A Medieval Port Town (Field Archaeology Unit Monograph - Institute of Archaeology, London) esp. p. 42-68 < >
  • Martin, D. and Rudling, D. (eds), 2004, Excavations in Winchelsea, Sussex 1974-2000 (Field Archaeology Unit Monograph - Institute of Archaeology, London)
  • Jones, R., 2003, 'Hastings to Herstmonceux: the castles of Sussex' in Rudling, D. (ed) The archaeology of Sussex to AD2000 (Great Dunham: Heritage Marketing and Publications) p. 171-8
  • Martin, David, 2003, 'Winchelsea - A Royal New Town' in Rudling, D. (ed) The archaeology of Sussex to AD2000 (Great Dunham: Heritage Marketing and Publications) p. 179-190
  • Salter, Mike, 2000, The Castles of Sussex (Malvern: Folly Publications) p. 70-1
  • Pettifer, A., 1995, English Castles, A guide by counties (Woodbridge: Boydell Press) p. 254-5
  • Bond, C.J., 1987, 'Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Defences' in Schofield, J. and Leech, R. (eds) Urban Archaeology in Britain (CBA Research Report 61) p. 92-116 (plan) online copy
  • Guy, John, 1984, Castles in Sussex (Phillimore) p. 118-121
  • King, D.J.C., 1983, Castellarium Anglicanum (London: Kraus) Vol. 2 p. 476
  • Freke, D., 1978, 'Medieval urban archaeology in Sussex' in Archaeology in Sussex to AD 1500 (CBA Research Report 29) p. 87-92 online copy
  • Barley, M.W., 1975, 'Town Defences in England and Wales after 1066' in Barley (ed) The plans and topography of medieval towns in England and Wales (CBA Research Report 14) p. 57-71 download/view online
  • Turner, H.L., 1971, Town Defences in England and Wales (London) p. 176-9
  • Salzman, L.F. (ed), 1937, VCH Sussex Vol. 9 p. 62-4
  • Harvey, Alfred, 1911, Castles and Walled Towns of England (London: Methuen and Co) p. 208-9
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1859, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 3 Part 2 p. 421 online copy
  • Turner, T.H. and Parker, J.H., 1853, Some account of Domestic Architecture in England (Oxford) Vol. 2 p. 157 online copy
  • Cooper, W.D., 1850, The History of Winchelsea, one of the Ancient Towns added to the Cinque Ports (London and Hastings) online copy
  • Grose, Francis, 1785 (new edn orig 1756), Antiquities of England and Wales (London) Vol. 5 p. 194-5 online copy

Antiquarian

Journals

  • Creighton, Oliver, 2006, ''Castles of Communities': Medieval Town Defences in England; Wales and Gascony' Château Gaillard Vol. 22 p. 75-86
  • Youngs, S.M., Clark, J. and Barry, T.B., 1984, 'Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1983' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 28 p. 242 download copy
  • Youngs, S.M., Clark, J. and Barry, T.B., 1983, 'Medieval Britain and Ireland in 1982' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 27 p. 205 download copy
  • Rudling, D.R., 1983, 'Winchelsea' Sussex Archaeological Society Newsletter Vol. 39 p. 323
  • Rudling, D.R. and Leach, P., 1983, 'Further fieldwork at Winchelsea, East Sussex' in Bedwin,O. (ed), 'Rescue Archaeology in Sussex 1982: a ninth progress report on the Sussex Archaeological Field Unit' Bulletin of the Institute of Archaeology Vol. 20 p. 95–8
  • Youngs, S.M. and Clark, J., 1981, 'Medieval Britain in 1980' Medieval Archaeology Vol. 25 p. 213 download copy
  • Homan, 1949, Sussex Archaeological Collections Vol. 88 p. 22-41 esp 37-8
  • Chambers, G.E., 1937, 'The French bastides and the town plan of Winchelsea' The Archaeological Journal Vol. 94 p. 177-206 online copy
  • Ditchfield, P.H., 1924, 'The walls of Rye and Winchelsea' Journal of the British Archaeological Association Vol. 30 p. 120-131
  • Blaauw, William Henry, 1861, ' Royal Licenses to Fortify Towns and Houses in Sussex' Sussex Archaeological Collections Vol. 13 p. 115 online copy

Primary Sources

  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1910, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry V (1413-16) Vol. 1 p. 368-9 (licence to crenellate) online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1895, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward I (1292-1301) Vol. 3 p. 147 (murage grant) online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1904, Calendar of Patent Rolls Edward II (1321-24) Vol. 4 p. 14 (murage grant) online copy
  • Maxwell Lyte, H.C. (ed), 1910, Calendar of Patent Rolls Henry V (1413-16) Vol. 1 p. 273 (murage grant) online copy
  • - < >Also see the Gatehouse murage pages for full details of murage [grants > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/murindex.html], [petitions > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/mupindex.html ] and [other such > http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/murage/muaindex.html]. < >

Other

  • Martin, D. and Martin, B., 2002, An Extensive Survey Assessment of Winchelsea, East Sussex (Archaeology South-East)
  • Martin, D. and Martin, B., 2002, A Quarter-by-Quarter Analysis of Winchelsea, East Sussex (Archaeology South-East)