Winchelsea (derivation: OE; island by a river bend) is a town near the East Sussex coast of England between Rye and Hastings. It began as a port on the Rothers estuary but was nearly completely destroyed in a storm in the late 13th century and rebuilt by Edward I to a grand plan on its present elevated site as a major link in the Gascon wine trade – one of the Cinque Ports added (with Rye) to the original five. By the end of the 16th century the port had silted up and the town (which is now about 2 miles from the sea) became but a skeleton of itself. Today, one can still see humps and bumps of the originally laid out grid, but the older buildings of this now tiny town are Georgian.
In 1350 the Battle of Winchelsea was fought nearby between English and French ships as part of the Hundred Years War. The French got their own back for that defeat when they raided and burnt the town in 1380.
Reference: "Brewer's England and Ireland"