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, located in the High Street, 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.
The Mayoral Wall Panels from 1295 to the present day
One of our 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 boards are a matter of great pride to the Museum and were presented to the town by G M Freeman. It is here in the Upper Court Hall on Easter Monday each year that new Mayors are elected and take their seat beneath the great roll of their predecessors.
The Museum is located on the first level of the Court Hall and access is via steps. Unfortunately, this would prohibit access to those in wheelchairs, as there is no other entry to the Museum.
Group and School Visits
We welcome group visits of all kinds. For schools we are able to accommodate small groups of up to 15 with an appropriate helper/ child ratio. Teacher packs are available which include a Children’s Guide, a Teacher’s Answer Sheet, Museum Plan & an Exhibit Guide.
The Museum Shop
A wide range of goods are displayed in the Museum Shop. Books, maps of the town and locality, and a wide range of special souvenirs to attract both young and old.
Winchelsea Museum are displaying a beautiful embroidered silk waistcoat that was worn at the present Queen’s Coronation. We have spent £1400 on the restoration of the waistcoat, which came back on display in 2017. The waistcoat has been with The Conservancy Trust in Rolvenden for the conservation. The silk waistcoat was worn at the present Queen’s Coronation in 1953, by the Mayor of that time Anthony Mallows Freeman. We have evidence that the waistcoat was also worn at the Coronation of King George VI in 1937.