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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
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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 - 5.30pm (4.30pm 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 Brookland?

  • Locality

    Wednesday 17th July for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    Red Door welcomes two wonderful artists for their show entitled Locality. A picture of a place is a personal memory. ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 19th July @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Local Produce, Cakes, Jams, Crafts and more. ... more

  • Antique and Book Fair

    Sunday 21st July @ 10:00am
    Location: Appledore

    Plenty of stalls selling antiques, collectables and Books too. Breakfast in a roll & Roast dinners available from 12-3pm at ... more

  • Appledore Vintage and Classic Car Rally

    Sunday 21st July
    Location: Appledore

    What: The Appledore Vintage and Classic Vehicle Rally and Village Fair When: Sunday 21st July 2019 from 1030 am Where: ... more

  • Jazz Supper at The Mermaid

    Thursday 25th July
    Location: Rye

    Swing, bossa nova and easy-listening tunes from innovative bassist David Silk, multi-instrumentalist Phil Brown who plays not just saxophone but ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 26th July @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Local Produce, Cakes, Jams, Crafts and more. ... more

  • Craft Fayre

    Sunday 28th July @ 11:00am
    Location: Camber

    Craft Fayre at Camber Memorial Hall Lydd Road, Camber, TN31 7RJ on Sunday 28 July 2019 from 11.00 am to ... more

  • CHALK gallery @ Red Door

    Wednesday 31st July for 13 days @ 11:00am
    Location: Rye

    Red Door are delighted to welcome Chalk Gallery, Lewes, who will take over Red Door for an exclusive two week ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 2nd August @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Local Produce, Cakes, Jams, Crafts and more. ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 9th August @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

    Local Produce, Cakes, Jams, Crafts and more. ... more

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