Winchelsea to Compostela: a history of the pilgrimage of St James and its links with the ancient town in words and music and a tour of medieval cellars

Winchelsea Arts & Friends of the Ancient Monuments and are delighted to have invited celebrated London chamber choir Pegasus to present a celebration of the links between Winchelsea and Santiago de Compostela in words and music

Your visit will start at the Town Well, Castle St with one of our expert guides where you will visit two cellars and soak up the medieval town atmosphere, you will then be escorted to Lines End house where there will be a pay bar to enjoy a glass of wine or beer before you are then lead into Lines End Medieval Cellar for a history of the pilgrimage of St James and its links with the ancient town in words and music by Pegasus Choir.

The event is expected to be just under 2 hours with the cellar tour about 45 minutes and the concert about 45 minutes and an interval between the two making for a relaxed event for all.

This unique one day only set of three tours (13:45, 15:15 & 16:45) and concerts will be held on the 11th May 2024. Only 25 tickets per concert.

Tickets £24 only ONLINE

The route to Santiago was one of the greatest pilgrimages in the medieval world. The remains of the apostle Saint James are believed to repose in an urn, in a tomb, in a crypt, in the looming medieval cathedral of the city named after him. Santiago de Compostela was built around the saint’s burial site, as revealed to a shepherd by a guiding star almost a millennium after the body was carried there by stone boat from Jerusalem, with angels guiding the way. Or so the story goes. It has since led more than 1,000 years’ worth of pilgrims to this convergence point of myth and history, via the network of cross-country trails known as the Camino de Santiago. In 2022, a record  438,000 people walked the route.

Winchelsea was a departure point for pilgrims from England to journey to Santiago de Compostela following the Way of St James from medieval times until the reformation, evidenced by grafiti left by these religious visitors still visible on the medieval fabric of St Thomas’s Church. Following a short stay in pilgrim hostels within the town walls and visits to the many wine shops in the town where pilgrims met to plan their onward journey, with the aim of reducing their time in purgatory, many took ships from to Bordeaux to begin the pilgrim trail and seek absolution.

This historic relationship will be celebrated in words and music presented by local readers and members of Pegasus Chamber Choir in a medieval town cellar. With music by English and Spanish composers from the medieval and renaissance periods performed alongside carefully curated readings this promises to be a fascinating snapshot of the town’s history.

Winchelsea Arts is delighted to have joined forces with Friends of the Ancient Monuments (FOAM) to present this event.

Kind Regards Peter Hatch
Chairman Winchelsea Arts 
Philip Mack Chairman of FOAM

The event is finished.


May 11 2024


1:45 pm - 6:45 pm




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