These web pages have been created by the Friends of the Ancient Monuments and Museum of Winchelsea (FOAM), a UK Registered Charity (charity no: 1001486). Unless otherwise stated all text should be taken as (c) Dominic Leahy and FOAM. Please also see the Acknowledgements section later on this page.
The principal objectives of FOAM are to help provide funds to enable the Corporation of Winchelsea carry out the maintenance of these important historical monuments and facilities. The Corporation itself is a special charity, established by Act of Parliament in the late 19th century, and is responsible for a number of medieval structures and buildings in the Town. These include the Strand Gate (a Grade 1 listed monument), the Pipewell Gate, the New Gate, the Court Hall and the Town Well. As the Corporation has no real income itself, the Friends seek to undertake fund-raising, including by providing expert guided cellar tours, which supports the work of the Corporation.
Please link to more information regarding the Friends and the Corporation. The majority of the content of this website is made available by kind permission of Dominic Leahy, the originator of the programme of cellar tours run on behalf of the Friends.
Much of the text included on this website is derived from Dominic Leahy’s 16pp booklet on the Winchelsea Cellars. In preparing the booklet specific thanks go to the following sources: to David Martin of Archaeology South East whose work on Winchelsea underpinned everything else; to W.MacLean Homan and his unpublished history of Winchelsea and work on the Cellars; John Fitchen a US architect for his books on medieval building practice including reference to lime mortar setting times and medieval engineering building principles; Ross King’s book on Brunelleschi’s Dome discusses the peculiarities of medieval mortar, to Jill Eddison whose book, “Romney Marsh survival on a frontier” describes the history of the Romney Marsh; Professor Roger Stalley’s work on early medieval architecture; L.F.Salzman whose book “Building in England Down To 1540” is invaluable in documenting the names and work places of medieval masons; Jean Gimpel’s book on the Cathedral Builders; N.A.M Rodger’s scholarship work on the naval history of England; Jonathan Sumption’s three volumes on the Hundred Years War, W.D Cooper’s history of Winchelsea published over 150 years ago; T.F.Tout’s lecture on Medieval Town Planning given in 1947; Medieval Building Techniques by Dr Gunther Binding; to Paul Reed for his time in explaining practical stone building techniques and production of lime mortar; to Malcolm Pratt for his books and talks at the annual Mayoring; finally to John Freeman and the late John Gooders for their help with the original design, proof reading and production.