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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 24th March @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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    The AGM is usually a short affair, which will be followed by Melvin Smith’s talk on Woodland Birds. Iden Natural ... more

  • An Evening with Dom Pipkin

    Friday 24th March
    Location: Rye

    An evening with Dom Pipkin - Solo New Orleans Jazz Piano Singer / Songwriter / Pianist at the Grapevine. The ... more

  • Ticket to Rye

    Saturday 25th March for 30 days
    Location: Rye

    Take a trip through Richard Adams’s whimsical and enchanting pastel works on paper. Come and enjoy this popular and much ... more

  • Drawings from the Collection

    Saturday 25th March for 46 days
    Location: Rye

    A selection of drawings in different media. Charcoal, ink, pencil and paint in Gallery 6 at Rye Art Gallery. ... more

  • Rye Society of Artists

    Saturday 25th March for 30 days
    Location: Rye

    The society returns to Rye Art Gallery in this varied and innovative show. Local artists of both of national and ... more

  • Spring Beach Clean

    Saturday 25th March @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Look out for the first Wheatears and Sandwich terns of the year while helping to remove the rubbish blown in ... more

  • An Evening with Mick Bolton

    Saturday 25th March
    Location: Rye

    An evening with Mick Bolton at the Grapevine. The Grapevine Rye, 1 Conduit Hill, Rye, TN31 7LE ... more

  • Mother’s Day Carvery

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    We are now taking bookings for Mother’s Day carvery on Sunday 26 March. Booking is essential as this is one ... more

  • Rye-Citadel

    Sunday 26th March
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    Alisdair Kitchen will accompany William Wallace (tenor), who was a memorably sinister Quint in Euphonia’s 2016 Rye Arts Festival at ... more

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