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Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea, Sussex. (1931 - WW2)

The club first appeared in the 1931.

The following article is from the Hastings & St Leonards Observer Saturday 12th December 1931. It points out the ambitions and hopes of the club; “CAMBER CASTLE GOLF LINKS – New 18-hole Course Near Rye – A new 18-hole course has been made in one of the most romantic, historic and picturesque parts of East Sussex. It surrounds the ancient Castle of Camber, midway between the more ancient towns of Rye and Winchelsea, bounded on the north by Rye, south-east by the English Channel, to the south-west by the hill on which the wonderful old town of Winchelsea stands, and to the west by the winding valley of the Brede and the site of the old harbor of the once important town of Winchelsea, part of the remains of which, it is believed, lie under the present golf links.

The course occupies about 180 acres of what once the bed of the English Channel, but is now covered with a very fine grass and is in consequence wonderfully well drained. As a very good example of the perfect drainage, the day of the big storm of November 1931, and the torrential rains, the course played perfectly, none of the greens were sodden, which is probably more than can be said of any golf course between Rye and Littlehampton. There is a water supply to each green.

The 18-holes are distinctly “sporting,” and will give the plus player something to think about. From every tee the player will be delighted with the variety of views. From some of the tees he will be able to gaze on the picturesque old town of Rye, from four he will be driving up to the lovely ruins of the castle, there being four greens under the castle walls on the site of the old moat. From the walls of the castle one is able to overlook the whole course and to see every stroke played. For the non-playing-friend, there is the old castle, and the most perfect site (in the summer) for out-door tea which can be taken with members after playing the seventh, eleventh, fourteenth or sixteenth greens.

The old Castle Farmhouse has been taken over, and is now being converted into the clubhouse, where comfort and convenience of members will be the first and foremost consideration. The old brick floors and beamed rooms will remain as they have existed for years, and so keep an “atmosphere” with the district. There is ample parking space for cars. Lady members will have the same privileges as men. A first-class professional has been engaged, one with 25 years experience; he is backed up with a good ground staff, so that the course should be well looked after and continue to improve. The fairways are in splendid condition and the greens, for the time they have been in the making, very satisfactory, and wil improve month by month.

A provisional committee has been formed to start the running of the club, and a good many names are coming forward for membership. The committee have decided that the first 100 members on the books of the club shall be classed as foundation members, and, as such, be admitted to all privileges for the sum of £3/3s a year. The entrance fees and yearly subscriptions of others will be fixed later.

The clubhouse will be ready for use in early January; in the meantime a small temporary clubhouse is available. Applications for membership as foundation members should be made in writing to; Lieut. Col. Cosens, 5 Friars Road, Winchelsea, and the names will be put to the provisional committee.” 


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea, Sussex. The 14th hole on a postcard by Photocrom of Tunbridge Wells.

The 14th hole on a postcard by Photochrom Co. Ltd., Tunbridge Wells. Image courtesy of Roger Johnson.


In 1932/3 the secretary was E G Mattingley, Upper Snailham House, Icklesham. The professional was H Prowse and the green-keeper E Mepham. The membership was 112. Eighteen-holes the visitors’ fees were 2/6 a round and 4/- a day. 

Below advert for the Opening Meeting in April 1932.


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea, Sussex. Advert for the Open Meeting April 1932.

From the Bexhill-on-Sea Observer Saturday 2nd April 1932. Image © Johnston Press plc. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Below is a report on the Opening Meeting.


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea, Sussex. Report on the Opening Meeting April 1932.


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea, Sussex. Report on the Opening Meeting April 1932.


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea, Sussex. Report on the Opening Meeting April 1932.

From the Kent & Sussex Courier Friday 29th April 1932. Image © Trinity Mirror. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


July 1932 - Camber Castle Artisans' Section, monthly result; A V Gibbs, 83-6-77; B Cutting, 102-24-78; A Small, 106-27-79; W Gibbs, 82 scratch. 

Result of the Tindall Cup played in September 1933; D V Gibbs (4,) 2down; D Southerden (6,) 3down; B James (6,) 4down. The scratch prize presented by the president; E Southerden, 74; H Gibbs, 79. The finalists for the president's prize are E Southerden and G Beeching.  

Below is the result of a match played at Camber against St Leonards Golf Club (now defunct) in April 1934. 

Camber Castle Golf Club   St Leonards Golf Club  
J S Moore 0 K G Plummer 1
M Chrisford 0 K Dryborough-Smith 1
T Crump 0 B C M Reed 1
Major Burke 0 Dr. Chisholm 1
J Cooke 1 Dr. A H Grace 0
A Piper (half) 0 F Judge (half) 0
C J Bannister 1 W H Delme-Murray 0
S Evans 1 J Capern 0
  3   4

Below is the result of a match played at Camber against Hastings Downs Golf Club (now defunct) in April 1934.

Camber Castle Golf Club   Hastings Downs Golf Club  
W Dennis 0 E S Bradman 1
J H Clarke 1 J Savage 0
G F Moore 0 W Alford 1
E E Mattingly 1 R Harborn 0
T Crump 1 G Pearch 0
H T Hinds 0 G West 1
C J Banister 1 W Parks 0
W F Evans 1 O H Broome 0
  5   3

Below is the result of a golf match played at Camber against Tonbridge Rugby Club in February 1935.

Camber Castle Golf Club   Tonbridge Rugby Club  
A Piper 0 M Brown 1
W H Tosh 0 R Mortlock 0
W J Moore 1 O Vardy 0
J Dennis 0 P Telford 1
W Dennis 1 G Heale 0
C E Tomlin 1 B Williams 0
E G Mattingley 0 R Abel 1
A E Hunnisett 0 A Children 1
W H Tosh and A Piper 1 M Brown and A Children 0
C E Tomlin and W Bennett 1 R Mortlock and B Williams 0
W J Moore and W Dennis 0 O Vardy and G Heale 1
J Dennis and E G Mattingley 1 R Abel and P Telford 0
  6   5

The President's Cup, presented by Lord Ritchie of Dundee, was played in April 1935. The winner was O Moser, 97-24-73, runner-up was A W Crisford, 90-16-74.

In May 1935 on the Camber Castle Links, Sussex Golf Clubs, represented by their captains and secretaries, played for the "Piper Cup" in glorious weather. The result was a victory for Cooden Beach, A R Aitken and Brigadier General Pritchard with five up. There was a tie for second place between Eastbourne Downs, A C Franklyn and J F Jackson;  East Brighton, C V Morris and G Chaplin; Camber Castle, J H Cooke and A Piper, with three up. 

In 1934/5 the secretary was C H Corlyon the professional was H Prowse and the green-keeper E Mepham. 18-hole course with a club membership of 120. Visitors’ fees were 2/6 a round and 4/- a day. Sunday play was allowed. Railway stations at Winchelsea 1 ½ miles and Rye 2 miles. Local hotel was the New Inn.


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea, Sussex. Article from The Bystander in September 1935.

Article from The Bystander September 11th 1935. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


Personalities in the above picture from top left to right; (1) Lord Ritchie of Dundee (president), Arthur Piper (hon. secretary); (2) J H Cooke (captain), Oswald Moser R.I; (3) C W Culyer, F Dodd (assistant professional). Bottom row; (4) A J Chalkley (professional), W H Best (steward); (5) Commander R Cooper, R.N.R., R Fenwick; (6) W H Bourne, K H Glazebrook.  

In the Captain's Prize played in July 1936 the winner was C E Tomlin; runner-up, V J Moore.


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea, Sussex. Aerial pictue showing the castle and golf course.

Senior Service Cigarette Card Aerial Picture 1939. Authors Collection.


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea. View of the Castle and course.

The golf course around Camber Castle can clearly be made out on the above picture. Image courtesy of


The following is from the book Rye Golf Club, the first 90 years by Denis Vidler, it says "...the first Artisans Golf Club which was founded in the early thirties and attached to the eighteen hole Camber Castle Golf Club ... when the Camber Castle course closed in 1938 and the Artisans were without a home ... the powers that be ... offer(ed) them a home with the Rye Golf Club". 

The Rye Golf Club book states that the course closed in 1938. However, the course is recorded in both the 1940 and 1947 Golfer’s Handbook. The secretary was A Piper and the professional A J Chalkley. The 18-hole course had a SSS and Par of 73. Course records were; amateur R H Oppenheimer 71 and professional H Prowse 66. 


Camber Castle Golf Club, Winchelsea. Location of the former course.

Location of the Camber Castle course. Grid reference TQ91810,18515, co-ordinates 591810,118515.


Camber Castle Golf Club had disappeared by 1951.