Explore and Discover Winchelsea, East Sussex

David Clarke

History Walks
South East
Notice Period:
Short (maybe less than one month's notice)
Paid: £75.00 + reasonable travel expenses
9th November 2019
David Clarke | Winchelsea East Sussex

Winchelsea is an opportunity to imagine a life in a town whose Grand Design has little changed in over 700 years. There are three medieval gates that guard the approaches, the old Court Hall that once acted as the gaol and the seat of the Mayor’s power, and a great church that promised so much, its grandeur and wealth reflects the affluence and influence of the town in the 14th century. The stunning Georgian houses that have their ancient founding roots in their medieval vaults trace a history back to the town’s wine trade and despite its difficult past, it has survived to capture a unique vision of King Edward I’s dream of a hilltop town. It is a walk into history. Winchelsea’s stagnation was arrested towards the middle of the 19th century with the new Town Well, the restoration of the Church of St Thomas and, when its decayed grandeur was discovered by artists and writers and Pre-Raphaelite Victorians. Turner and Millais painted, Thackeray, Ford Maddox Ford and Joseph Conrad wrote, actress Ellen Terry came for the quiet life, Beatrix Potter, rented Haskards, Elgar stayed to play golf and HG Wells wrote a short story called Miss Winchelsea’s Heart. All attracted by the town’s grace. In 1866, Dante Gabriel Rosetti said of the Mayor and Corporation’s procession it was “observed by a mob of one female child in the street and by us from the inn window”. It is little different today.

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About David Clarke

Whether it is a school talk, club meeting or group event, if you would like to find out a little more about the background to 1066, 1066 Harold's Way and other History Walks, David is an experienced and anecdotal speaker who will bring the history, walks and talks to life.

Talks will be tailored to meet your needs and fees, dates and presentation details will be discussed on enquiry.

David lives in St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex and walks, talks and writes about walking, local history and all things 1066.

He considers his membership of CAMRA, The Inn Sign Society, The Ramblers and the Long Distance Walkers Association to be a perfect match for walking and is the author and creator of 1066 Harold’s Way, a 100 mile long distance walk inspired by King Harold’s epic march to the Battle of Hastings, 1066.

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