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Rye Parish Church of St Mary

Rye Parish Church of St Mary in Rye, East Sussex

Rye Parish Church of St Mary
Church Square
Rye
East Sussex
TN31 7HF
01797 224 935
ryeparishchurch.org.ukVisit Website
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For almost 900 years the Parish Church of Rye, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, has dominated the hill on which the old town stands. It has stood through good times and bad. In 1377 when the town was looted and set on fire by French invaders the church was extensively damaged. The roof fell in and the bells were carried off to France. They were recovered the next year when men from Rye and Winchelsea sailed to Normandy and took them back!

In 1742 a murder took place in the churchyard when Allen Grebell was killed by John Breeds who mistook him for the Mayor. John Breeds was hung and his remains placed in an iron cage on Gibbets Marsh. Later this was moved to the church and later still to the Town Hall where it is to this day. The grave of Allen Grebell can be seen in the Clare Chapel.

There are several interesting stained glass windows in the church, although none are very old. The most beautiful is by Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1891) in memory of Mary Tiltman and can be seen in the North Aisle.

Today St Mary's is a popular destination for tourists who come to see the oldest church turret clock in the country which is still functioning. It dates from 1561-2 and has an 18ft long pendulum (a much later addition) which can be seen swinging in the body of the church. The present exterior clock face and the original 'Quarter Boys' (so called because they strike the quarters but not the hours) were added in 1760.

The photograph above shows the Burne-Jones Window.

The church is open daily from 9 am - 6 pm (4 pm in winter). The tower is also open daily and can be climbed, for a charge, to see the clock mechanism, the bells and a wonderful view of Rye and the surrounding countryside.
Regular services take place as follows:

Sunday Services

- 8.00am. Holy Communion (Traditional)
- 10.30am. Parish Eucharist (Modern)1st Sunday ~ Family Service
- 6.00pm. Evensong (Traditional)~ most Sundays
- Thursdays: 10.00am. Holy Communion (Modern)

Parish Records: All parish records of baptism/marriage/death are kept in East Sussex County Records Office:

The Maltings, Castle Precincts, Lewes BN7 1YT
Tel: 01273 482 359
Fax: 01273 482 341


Event

What's On in Rye?

  • Book signing of The Book of Tides

    Sunday 11th December
    Location: Rye

    Local author is signing his new book, The Book of Tides, in the Rye Bookshop at 11am on Sunday. This ... more

  • Everest Pioneer-The Photographs Of Captain John No

    Tuesday 13th December @ 7:30pm
    Location: Northiam

    Part of the Northiam Hist. and Lit. 2016/7 Season. Members free Visitors £2 ... more

  • Ian Shaw & Claire Martin - A Xmas Cracker

    Wednesday 14th December @ 7:15pm
    Location: Rye

    Rye Jazz & Blues Festival proudly present a jazz lovers festive delight with two of the best jazz singers in ... more

  • A Musical Christms Celebration

    Thursday 15th December
    Location: Brede

    The Christmas meeting of the National Trust Association is a Musical Christmas Celebration with the Rye Ukele Experiment and the ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 16th December @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market sells local produce which includes: Cakes, Preserves, Savouries, Free Range Eggs, Seasonal Vegetables and Fruit, Unusual Plants, ... more

  • Celebrity Chef John Torode

    Friday 16th December @ 6:00pm
    Location: Peasmarsh

    BBC Masterchef's John Torode will be visiting Jepson's Peasmarsh Superstore - where he will be demonstrating his culinary skills to ... more

  • Cushy

    Friday 16th December @ 9:30pm
    Location: Rye

    Cushy playing at Wipers. Please check website for updates as music listing may be subject to change. ... more

  • Rokitmen Christmas Party

    Sunday 18th December @ 4:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Rokitmen Christmas Party playing at Wipers. Please check website for updates as music listing may be subject to change. ... more

  • Chekhov Triple Bill

    Sunday 18th December @ 4:00pm
    Location: Rye

    With Christmas just a few weeks away Rye Arts Festival is offering a special one-off performance of theatre for you ... more

  • Chekov Triple Bill

    Sunday 18th December
    Location: Rye

    Chekov Triple Bill presented by Euphonia Studio and directed and adapted by Alasdair Kitchen. Tickets: 10 from Grammar School Records ... more

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