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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

What's On in Brookland?

  • Jazz Supper at the Mermaid

    Thursday 30th March
    Location: Rye

    For well over 40 years bass player David Silk has been running and hosting an exciting array of unique jazz-based ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 31st March @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Cool Jazz Blues

    Friday 31st March
    Location: Rye

    Cool Jazz & Blues at the Grapevine. The Grapevine Rye, 1 Conduit Hill Rye, TN31 7LE ... more

  • Wildlife Watch - Rye Harbour

    Saturday 1st April @ 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

  • Gong Gathering/ Sound Bath

    Saturday 1st April
    Location: Playden

    Come and bathe in the Sounds and Vibrations of seven sacred healing Gongs and other instruments…. £12 inc tea and ... more

  • Middle Eastern Pop Up Restaurant

    Saturday 1st April @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Rye’s first and only Middle Eastern pop up restaurant, Zephyr, is back on Saturday 1st April, this time at White ... more

  • Minibeast Hunt

    Wednesday 5th April @ 2:00pm
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Take a closer look at some of the smaller creatures that live on the nature reserve with resident expert, Chris. ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 7th April @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Murder Mystery Evening

    Friday 7th April
    Location: Rye

    An evening of Murder and Mystery at to The Tudor Room, The Mermaid Inn. Proceeds from the evening are for ... more

  • Rye Film Club - Easter Parade

    Friday 7th April
    Location: Rye

    Easter Parade, a true classic MGM musical with the wonderful Fred Astaire and Judy Garland? I won’t spoil the story ... more

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