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The history of Winchelsea

Reform and relapse (1815-1850)

The loss of the cambric factory and the end of the Napoleonic War termonated Winchelsea’s modest revival. Insult was added to injury by the loss of its two MPs under the Reform Act of 1832. Then, in 1886, the Corporation lost its remaining civil and judicial powers, and Winchelsea was forced, against its will, into the Parish of Icklesham.

It was not all doom and gloom however. The dereliction of the Church of St Thomas was halted and reversed by a skilful restoration programme in the first half of the 19th century. 1850 saw the publication of what, until recently, has been the seminal book on the history of the medieval town, by William Durrant Cooper.

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