For centuries following the invasions by the French and Spanish, the church fell into a state of serious neglect and disrepair. The seventeenth century diarist John Evelyn described the ‘forlorn ruins’, and in the early nineteenth century it was described as ‘almost unfit for public worship. The restoration of the church to its present beautiful condition has almost all been completed within the last 150 years.
Because the church originally formed part (the chancel) of a cathedral-size building, its proportions are consistent with that initial intent. Most imposing of all are the stained glass windows. The windows were designed by Douglas Strachan (1875-1950) and were dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1933.
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In the bottom right of the above window, Edward I examines the new church.
In the north and south walls are effigies which, it is believed, were retrieved from the church in Old Winchelsea before it was completely submerged. They would therefore be more than 700 years old.