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St Mary the Virgin

Church Square, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7HF
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Tel+44(0)1797 224935

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St Mary the Virgin

About

Sometimes called the "cathedral of East Sussex", the Parish Church of Rye, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, has dominated the hill on which the citadel is built for over 900 years. When the building of the present church was started, early in the 12th century, the town itself and much of the surrounding area was still held, under a Royal deed of gift, by the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy. It is because of this link with Fecamp and the fact that it had become an important member of the Cinque Ports Confederation that Rye has such a magnificient church.
The clock on the turret was installed in about 1561 and is one of the oldest church turret clocks in the country still functioning. 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. For a fabulous 360 degree view over the ancient rooftops and out to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Camber Sands and Winchelsea, the climb to the top of the tower is well worth the effort, though not for the claustrophobic.
The Visitor Centre stocks a good range of postcards, greeting cards, prayer cards, books, gifts and Christian jewellery.

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Map & Directions

What's Nearby

  1. Early Georgian house and walled garden, home of writer Henry James and later of E F…

    0.09 miles away
  2. Many displays on smuggling, military, police, coastal and maritime history and with…

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  3. A brand new, state-of-the-art 2-screen cinema, café-bar and function venue has opened its…

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  1. The East Street Museum was originally a bottling factory but it now houses exhibitions…

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  2. Magic, Monsters and Mystery are all here in this unique immerse interactive family…

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  3. Not just a model, but a complete sound and light show that brings the history of Rye…

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  4. Camber Castle was one link in the chain of forts built along the south coast by Henry…

    1 miles away
  5. Large coastal nature reserve with a vast array of wildlife. Network of footpaths leading…

    1.26 miles away
  6. This stunning stretch of sandy beach is home to the only sand dune system in East Sussex.…

    1.6 miles away
  7. A small local museum with exhibits on the ancient town of Winchelsea, the Cinque Ports…

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  8. Ebikes and pedal cycle hire in Camber Sands. Camber sits on the National Cycle route…

    2.66 miles away
  9. Kitesurfing, kite buggy and paddle boarding courses. British Kitesports accredited school…

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  10. The largest organic vineyard in the UK, Oxney is 17 meters above sea level in a warm and…

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  11. Mallydams Wood looks after thousands of wildlife casaulties each year therefore, because…

    6.03 miles away
  12. St Andrew’s Church’s majestic ‘Fairlight Tower’ is conveniently located by the…

    6.43 miles away
  13. Varied collection of water pumps mainly from the steam era including 1904 Tangye and 1940…

    6.75 miles away
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