Plan to protect historic gate at Winchelsea

Pipewell SUS-140207-123845001
Pipewell SUS-140207-123845001

PLANS are underway to safeguard the future of an historic landmark at Winchelsea.

The Pipewell Gate, which sits at the top of the Ferry Hill on the side of the A259 in Winchelsea, dates from 1404.

A public exhibition is taking place at the Lower Court Hall in Winchelsea on Saturday and Sunday (July 5 and 6) and will be followed by a public meeting at the New Hall the following Saturday at 10am.

They have been organised by The Corporation of Winchelsea with the support of the Winchelsea Conservation Society, the Friends of the Ancient Monuments and the Winchelsea Archeological Society.

The aim is to bring attention to measures proposed for repair and restoration to preserve and protect the Monument for the future.

It is hoped to raise the status of Pipewell Gate as a historical visitor attraction, which in turn will help to attract Heritage Lottery Funding.

Winchelsea Mayor Stephen Turner said: “The views and support as to the best options to take the project forward for the benefit of the community and our heritage are important to us.

“We look forward to seeing many residents at both events as their input will determine the final shape of the project.

Based upon the architectural condition report, a full estimate for the cost of defect rectification falls into two parts, the first being repointing and repairs, resulting from the age of the structure and the fact that earlier work used cement, rather than lime mortar. This has caused and will cause further damage to the structure.

The second, being associated road works to improve accessibility to meet potential grant and safety requirements.

A risk assessment has concluded that people visiting the Gate are at some risk from passing traffic.

Restoring the gate will have a total cost of £98,000 and initial approaches have been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has agreed in principle with the specification and project.