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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?

  • Double Bill - The Stepmother and The Playgoers

    Friday 28th April for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    Acting Up in Rye present a double bill of one act plays - The Stepmother by Arnold Bennett and The ... more

  • Massive Rye Model Railway Exhibition

    Saturday 29th April @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    You’re invited to make tracks to a model railway show. The first one in Rye in over 20 years and ... more

  • Walk and Talk - A Guided Tour

    Saturday 29th April
    Location: Rye

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

  • Quiz Night

    Saturday 29th April
    Location: Northiam

    Quiz Night - Tickets £7.50 to include food. Tables of 8 - to book contact 01797 252114 or contactus@northiambonfiresociety.co.uk - ... more

  • Shakespeare at the Mermaid

    Sunday 30th April @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Bowler Crab interpreting Macbeth. "A one off free entry event, 'Interpreting Macbeth' is a new performance presentation project from local ... more

  • Charity Boot Fair

    Monday 1st May @ 7:00am
    Location: Peasmarsh

    Hard-standing pitches from £5 on the day - donated to Rye & District Community Transport. Free admission and parking for ... more

  • Rye Mayor Making Ceremony/Celebrations

    Monday 1st May
    Location: Rye

    There will be a service of Thanksgiving at St Mary's Church, Rye at 11.45am followed by the Throwing Hot Pennies ... more

  • Sturdy Beggars at the Plough

    Monday 1st May @ 4:00pm
    Location: Udimore

    Sturdy Beggars at the Plough - TN31 7AL. ... more

  • Quiz Night

    Tuesday 2nd May
    Location: Rye

    Quiz Night - maximum per team 6. £3 (£2 if paid in advance). Prize for winning team. Light refreshments available. ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 5th May @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

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