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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?

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 23rd June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 10th March - 15th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Walk and Talk - A Guided Tour

    Friday 23rd June
    Location: Rye

    David Hopkins takes you on a historical tour of Rye - Tudor boom, bust and plague, 18th century smuggling, the ... more

  • Much Ado About Nothing - Open Air

    Friday 23rd June for 2 days
    Location: Three Oaks

    Bowler Crab bring their tenth Shakespearean production to Half House Farm, Three Oaks – the hilarious comedy Much Ado About ... more

  • Moth Morning

    Sunday 25th June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    A huge variety of interesting and very beautiful moths visit the nature reserve. Come and look in the moth trap ... more

  • Much Ado About Nothing - Open Air

    Sunday 25th June
    Location: Three Oaks

    Bowler Crab bring their tenth Shakespearean production to Half House Farm, Three Oaks – the hilarious comedy Much Ado About ... more

  • The Anniversary

    Thursday 29th June @ 7:30pm
    Location: Small Hythe

    Performed in the Barn Theatre at Smallhythe Place, 'The Anniversary' is a dark farce. Family rifts occur throughout, and the ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 30th June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 10th March - 15th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Wildlife Watch - Rye Harbour

    Saturday 1st July @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    A monthly Saturday club for children aged 5-11 years offering a chance to find out more about the natural world ... more

  • Peasmarsh Primary School Summer Fair

    Saturday 1st July @ noon
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Delicious food and drink, bouncy castle, face painting, tombola, balloons, games, raffle, arts and crafts stalls, karate and dance presentations ... more

  • Tilling Green Bingo 2017

    Thursday 6th July
    Location: Rye

    Tilling Green Bingo at the Tilling Green Community Centre, Mason Road, Rye TN31 7BE. Doors Open at 6:45pm with Eyes ... more

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