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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?

  • Superhero Sports Day

    Saturday 28th May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Refreshments - Bar - Cafe - Cakes - Tombola - Raffle - Face Painting - Fancy Dress Competition - Tug ... more

  • Phil Trainor

    Sunday 29th May @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Phil Trainor playing at the Wipers. Check website for any updates or changes. ... more

  • Bank Holiday Charity Boot Fair

    Monday 30th May @ 7:00am
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Jempson’s are delighted to be hosting a number of charity Boot Fairs again this year in our Peasmarsh car park, ... more

  • Under Winchelsea cellar tours

    Monday 30th May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Winchelsea

    Winchelsea boasts over 50 medieval cellars, a number rivalled only in Bristol, Southampton and Norwich. They were all built between ... more

  • Creepy Crawlies

    Wednesday 1st June @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Go a-hunting with the warden, Chris, as he takes a closer look at the fascinating and bizarre world of insects ... more

  • Children's Afternoon

    Thursday 2nd June @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    This afternoon will have a Royal Coronation theme. ... more

  • Collect and Create Clay Creatures

    Thursday 2nd June @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Collect natural materials on a walk through the reserve and create your own clay creature to take home with you. ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 3rd June @ 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

  • Wild Woodland Holiday Club

    Friday 3rd June @ 10:00am
    Location: Beckley

    A whole day of holiday fun for children aged 6-11, when we will have a campfire, play games and try ... more

  • Deep Sea Drivers

    Friday 3rd June @ 9:30pm
    Location: Rye

    Deep Sea Drivers playing at the Wipers. Check website for any updates or changes. ... more

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