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Rye Parish Church of St Mary

Rye Parish Church of St Mary near Brookland, Kent

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

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  • Brilliant Birds

    Tuesday 30th May @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Find out about the amazing seabirds that nest here with a short walk to our bird-watching hides where you will ... more

  • Go Bug Hunting

    Wednesday 31st May @ 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

  • Go Bug Hunting

    Wednesday 31st May @ 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

  • Rockpool Ramble

    Thursday 1st June @ 10:30am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Explore the shore searching in the rockpools for fascinating marine creatures such as hermit crabs, prawns, blennies and whelks. Please ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 2nd 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

  • Rye Auction Galleries - Antique and Collectables

    Friday 2nd June
    Location: Rye

    Auction day open from 8.30 sale commences at 10.00am. For further details, dates for taking in and catalogue visit http://www.ryeauctiongalleries.com/sale-dates/ ... more

  • La La Land

    Friday 2nd June
    Location: Rye

    Rye Film Club present - Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress serves lattes to movie stars in between her auditions, ... more

  • Cream Tea

    Saturday 3rd June
    Location: Iden

    Afternoon cream tea, all welcome. Tea, scones, cream and jam plenty of cake - in aid of Village Hall Funds. ... more

  • Wildlife Watch - Rye Harbour

    Saturday 3rd June @ 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

  • Secret Open Garden - Mermaid Street

    Saturday 3rd June @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    Never before open to the public – The Secret Garden in Mermaid Street. The Old Hospital in Mermaid Street boasts ... more

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