The first recorded mention of the church of St. Thomas
in Old Winchelsea came in 1215.

The town was then a flourishing seaport on the shingle, but in 1250 it was battered by a phenomenally high tide which ‘flowed twice without ebbing with a horrible roaring and a glint as of fire on the waves.’

Thirty-seven years later further floods virtually destroyed the town and changed the course of the River Rother.