Ancient graffiti is on display at medieval cellar

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There is a rare chance to view Winchelsea’s most significant medieval cellar at the weekend.

The National Trust will be opening the cellar under the ruins of what is called ‘Blackfriars Barn’ on Saturday September 13.

The cellar has what is claimed to be one of the rarest examples of medieval graffiti in the country.

It is opening as part of the national Heritage Open Day scheme.

Winchelsea Archaeological Society will be conducting tours of both the ruins and the cellar at 11am and 2pm.

The cellar is reckoned the finest of Winchelsea 51 vaulted medieval cellars.

It has three chambers, which originally had glazed windows, and a fireplace, suggesting it was not a wine cellar.

The rear chamber of the cellar also has graffiti featuring dozens of medieval ships and is only one of two examples in the country.

The cellar is only open once a year during the local Heritage Open Days weekend. The tours are free. Just turn up on the Cricket Field by the side of the ruins five minutes before each tour.

Winchelsea Archaeological Society will also be conducting of its regular tours of Winchelsea’s other cellars on Sunday at 2pm.

The cost of this tour is £5. Those wanting to join should meet in Castle Street.

Other Heritage Open Day events will be taking place in the historic town this weekend.

People will also be able to visit St Thomas’s Church on Sunday between 10.30am and 6pm and admire the nine beautiful stained glass windows created by Douglas Strachan in the 1930’s.

The Court Hall and Museum will also be open over the weekend, parts of which are 700 years old.

It is open on Sunday between 1.30pm and 5pm and teas will be served.

Wesley’s Methodist Chapel , in the town, will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 10am - 5pm.

It was built in 1785 after Wesley preached an open-air sermon in Winchelsea.