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Rye Parish Church of St Mary

Rye Parish Church of St Mary near Northiam, 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 - 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 Northiam?

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    Wednesday 27th September
    Location: Rye

    Dr Marc Morris is an expert on medieval monarchy and aristocracy, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In ... more

  • Piano Recital

    Wednesday 27th September
    Location: Rye

    The pianist Daniel Grimwood is a performer of international renown, combining an exceptional talent, rare versatility and refinement with an ... more

  • Writers of Rye

    Thursday 28th September
    Location: Rye

    Helen Simonson, who grew up in Peasmarsh and went to school in Rye, introduces a screening of the recent TV ... more

  • Called to Account

    Thursday 28th September
    Location: Rye

    Waste is everywhere. Fighting this waste is the Public Accounts Committee, which oversees public expenditure of some £700 billion annually. ... more

  • Open Mic Night

    Thursday 28th September
    Location: Rye

    Open Mic Night at the Queen's Head Inn - Come and have your moment in the spotlight! Are you a ... more

  • Songs of Love and Romance

    Thursday 28th September
    Location: Rye

    And they said romance was dead…well, maybe not quite Sit back with soprano Sarah Dacey, mezzo-soprano Ciara Hendrick, tenor Greg ... more

  • Rye Country Market

    Friday 29th September @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye

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

  • Lunchtime Song Recital

    Friday 29th September
    Location: Rye

    William Wallace (tenor) and Alisdair Kitchen (piano) Tenor William Wallace thrilled Rye audiences last year as Quint in Benjamin Britten’s ... more

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    Location: Rye

    Crime writer Peter May described The Birdwatcher, which is set in Dungeness, as “the most gripping book I’ve read in ... more

  • The Mountain Firework Company

    Friday 29th September
    Location: Rye

    A big hit in the 2015 Festival where they attracted many new fans and sold more CDs than any other ... more

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