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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 - 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?

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 24th November @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Winter Salon

    Friday 24th November @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye

    This year Rye Creative Centre held an open call for visual artists across the UK and Europe. The response from ... more

  • Aladdin the Pantomime

    Friday 24th November for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    Acting Up in Rye presents Aladdin. Be prepared to be transported from the streets of Peking to the mountains of ... more

  • Feast Of Delights Designer & Maker's Fair

    Saturday 25th November for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    Join us at Rye Creative Centre for our annual festive Designer and Maker’s Fair. This year, over two days (10am-4pm), ... more

  • Ordinary Icons

    Saturday 25th November @ 10:30am
    Location: Rye

    Join talented artist and educator Julia Andrews-Clifford for a fun workshop. Produce a 3D collage portrait – this could be ... more

  • Beginners Birds - Winter Waders

    Saturday 25th November @ 1:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Get to grips with those tricky winter waders with this short course for beginner birdwatchers. Binoculars and field guides available ... more

  • Guided Ghost Walk of Rye

    Saturday 25th November @ 5:00pm
    Location: Rye

    A unique opportunity to explore the ancient streets of Rye after dark with the Deputy Town Cryer. Hear tales of ... more

  • Jazz Supper at The Mermaid

    Thursday 30th November @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    The star guest this month will be acclaimed singer/songwriter musician/comic Earl Okin who has performed all over the world – ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 1st December @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Wildlife Watch - Rye Harbour

    Saturday 2nd December @ 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

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