Explore town’s hidden cellars


There will be a chance to explore medieval wine cellars under the ancient town of Winchelsea in September.

Winchelsea boasts more than 50 medieval cellars, a number rivalled only in Southampton, Bristol and Norwich. Most of the cellars are vaulted and were built around 1290-1300, at the same time as the original town.

Winchelsea Archaeological Society has tours scheduled for September 3, 5, 16 and 20.

The tours start at 2pm from Castle Street. The cost is £5 per head and includes a guidebook to the cellars. People should wear sensible footwear for the tours.

Proceeds of the cellar tours will go to Winchelsea Archaeological Society (registered charity 1143524) and will help to pay for new archaeology in the town.

To book a place, e-mail tours@winchelsea.net or call 01797-224446. The tours last at least 90 minutes and explain why and how the cellars were built, and also describe something of the fascinating history of the Ancient Town of Winchelsea.

In addition to these regular tours, on September 13 , Winchelsea Archaeological Society will be conducting free tours of the cellars under Blackfriars Barn in Winchelsea as part of Heritage Open Days.

Blackfriars Barn is owned by the National Trust and is only open a couple of times a year.

The cellars are the finest in Winchelsea but no one is sure what they were used for. They also contain extremely rare medieval ship graffiti.

The tours of Blackfriars Barn cellars will start at 11am and 2pm.

Just turn up on the day at the ruins which are on Rectory Lane, next to the Cricket Field and opposite the Wesley Chapel, which will also be open.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.ryeandbattleobserver.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RyeandBattleObserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @RyeObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.