This website uses cookies to help us make your user experience better. To find out more, see our privacy policy.

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
Send E-Mail
Import to your address book ...

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?

  • Whistler And The Thames

    Tuesday 24th January @ 7:30pm
    Location: Northiam

    A talk by Freda Parker. Part of the Northiam and District Historical and Literary Society winter series ... more

  • Jazz Supper at the Mermaid

    Thursday 26th January @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    The Tudor Room at the Mermaid opens at 7pm for Supper. Music from 8pm. Supper £25, Non - Diners £10 ... more

  • Hush Heath Wine Dinner

    Thursday 26th January @ 7:30pm
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Learn about, and taste different Hush Heath Estate Wines from the garden of England, while enjoying canapes and 3 courses ... more

  • On Land and Sea

    Friday 27th January
    Location: Iden

    As well as managing British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) a marine mammal rescue charity and being a trustee of ... more

  • Chinese New Year

    Saturday 28th January
    Location: Rye

    Saturday 28th January is the new Chinese year of the rooster! A celebration will be held at the cinque ports ... more

  • Banish The January Blues

    Saturday 28th January
    Location: Newenden

    Dinner in the White Hart. The buffet will include the choice of a European, Malaysian, Indian or Chinese main course ... more

  • Rye Networking Over Coffee

    Tuesday 31st January @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Business networking event held in The Tudor Room. For more details go to the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/185965121742782/ ... more

  • Antique and Collectables Sale

    Friday 3rd February
    Location: Rye

    Viewing for our Antique & Collectable Sale Thursday 2nd February 9.00am - 4.30pm. Auction day open from 8.30 sale commences ... more

  • Rye Bay Scallop and Seafood Hands-On Cookery Day

    Monday 6th February @ 9:15am
    Location: Rye

    Now in its twelfth year, celebrating the scallop and local seafood species. Prepare and eat a seven course luncheon enjoying ... more

  • Friend or Foe - The Herring Gull

    Friday 10th February
    Location: Iden

    Love them or hate them Richard Thompson, Mallydams Wood Wildlife Manager will be enlightening us about this, now red status, ... more

Message

Rye Message Board