St Mary's Church, Rye

Church Square, Rye, East Sussex, TN31 7HF
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St Mary's Church, Rye


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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What's Nearby

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  2. Test Attraction


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  3. Many displays on smuggling, military, police, coastal and maritime history and with…

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  1. Rye's delightful cinema, café-bar and function venue in renovated Victorian buildings.

    0.13 miles away
  2. The East Street Museum was originally a bottling factory but it now houses exhibitions…

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  3. If you're looking for things to do in Rye, don't miss the Rye Heritage Centre. Here…

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  4. Rye Bay E-bikes is a small, family run electric bike company currently based just south…

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

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  6. Join Full Throttle Boat Charters from Rye Harbour and head out to sea for an exhilarating…

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  7. Cycle the nature reserve at Rye Harbour.

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

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  9. Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is an important wildlife site set in an exceptional coastal…

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  12. Try a new sport on the awesome beaches of Camber Sands.

    3.22 miles away
  13. Explore mile after mile of scenic off-road cycle path from the stunning Camber Sands.

    3.22 miles away
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