Winchelsea, East Sussex


Ancient town and member of the Cinque Ports Confederation


Winchelsea Court Hall Museum

The Court Hall museum contains displays and exhibits that illustrate the history of the 'Antient Town of Winchelsea'. The museum is housed in a single large room on the first floor of the Court Hall, which is one of the oldest buildings in the town. Exhibits include maps, models, pictures, seals, local pottery and items of daily life from the area. Please see the Museum Guide (PDF 1.3M) for more details.

One of the most noteworthy features is the list of Mayors of Winchelsea shown on a series of oak boards. This list, far fuller than that of most towns, is complete from 1430 and is partially complete from 1295 when Mayors first replaced the King's Bailiffs. The list of Mayors are a matter of great pride to the Museum, but were presented to the town, by Mr GM Freeman, for quite another purpose.

The Court Hall is still the meeting place of the Corporation and it is here, on Easter Monday each year, a new Mayor is elected and takes his seat beneath the great roll of his predecessors. The Corporation, like the City of London, elects its own members who are Freemen of Winchelsea and from whom up to 12 Jurats are selected annually at the Mayoring to assist the Mayor. There are also a Town Clerk, Chamberlain and Sergeant-at-Mace.


Information to all visitors

The Museum is located on the first level of the medieval Court Hall and access is via steps (see picture on right). Unfortunately, this would prohibit access to those in wheelchairs, as there is no other entry to the Museum.

We welcome group visits of all kinds. For schools we are able to accommodate small groups of up to 15 with an appropiate helper/ child ratio. Teacher packs are available which include a Children’s Guide, a Teacher’s Answer Sheet, Museum Plan & an Exhibit Guide.

Please contact by e-mail: winchelsea.museum@btinternet.com.

Opening times

Museum

Court Hall