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Rye Parish Church of St Mary

Rye Parish Church of St Mary near Playden, 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 Playden?

  • Our Fabulous Feathered Friends

    Tuesday 29th May @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Come along to see the thousands of nesting birds squabbling and feeding their cute fluffy chicks, and enjoy some birdy ... more

  • Saving Bumblebees

    Tuesday 29th May
    Location: Rye

    Rother Environmental Group - Saving Bumblebees, a talk by Professor Dave Goulson. ... more

  • Beckley Village Fete

    Wednesday 30th May @ noon
    Location: Beckley

    Beckley Village Fete - Jubilee Field and Village Centre. ... more

  • Wild Woodland Holiday Club

    Thursday 31st May @ 10:00am
    Location: Beckley

    Foresty fun lighting a campfire, building dens, playing games and learning woodcrafts. Suitable for children aged 6-11. Parents do not ... more

  • Jazz Supper at The Mermaid

    Thursday 31st May @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Special guest Karl Charity joins the regulars of Roger Lewin (piano), Dave Silk (bass), and Jacci Norris (vocals), for the ... more

  • Jazz Supper at the Mermaid

    Thursday 31st May @ 7:00pm
    Location: Rye

    Special guest Karl Charity joins the regulars of Roger Lewin (piano), Dave Silk (bass), and Jacci Norris (vocals), for the ... more

  • Rye Country Market

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

    Rye Country Market will be open every Friday from 9th March - 14th December. We sell Cakes, Savouries, Preserves, Free ... more

  • Wild Beach

    Friday 1st June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Explore the shore with beach art, strandline safaris, kite-making and other fun stuff! Suitable for accompanied children aged 5-12. Meet ... more

  • Wildlife Watch - Rye Harbour

    Saturday 2nd June @ 10:00am
    Location: Rye Harbour

    Our monthly club for children aged 5-11 offering a chance to find out more about the natural world and the ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellar Tours

    Saturday 2nd June
    Location: Winchelsea

    Each year a team of volunteers run guided tours of the town’s medieval cellars. All proceeds received (£6 per person) ... more

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