Sunday, 22 June 2014


The Ancient Town of Winchelsea, like nearby Rye, became one of the Cinq Ports in the twelfth century. But by the sixteenth century the harbour had silted up and it was left literally high and dry 
and now it's a quiet and pretty place. We had come to visit the church of St Thomas the Martyr  and parked outside these attractive houses with their well-kept front gardens.
A notice attached to a tree at the edge of the graveyard marks the spot where John Wesley gave his last outdoor sermon. He was 87 years old.

The graveyard is visited by people wanting to see the gravestone of the comedian Spike Milligan. The inscription is in gaelic.
It translates as, "I told you I was ill."
There are always interesting things to discover in old churches and St Thomas the Martyr is no exception; a sad little story on the church floor
and around the walls a series of wonderful figures, their history unknown.
The detail in the carving is lovely, depicting leather bindings for the sword, (and some grafitti!)
chain mail, with the gloved sections not worn
and some nicely scalloped fabric. 
They were very well turned out!
At the rear of the church a notice informed me that one of the reclining figures features in a painting by the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais.
I'd never heard of this painting before, 'L'enfant du Regiment,' although so many of Millais' images, especially 'Orphelia' are well known.
Then we went on to the coast and ate fish, chips and mushy peas!


  1. The artistry shown in the carving is breathtaking. Such history. Mushy had them. They sound Ha! Thanks for this tour.

    1. Mushy peas just may be an acquired taste, Melanie! They don't look impressive on the plate, that's for sure, just mushed up peas, as you might imagine - but they DO taste good!
      The carvings had a real presence, they were such a lovely discovery.