This website uses cookies to help us make your user experience better. To find out more, see our privacy policy.

Rye Parish Church of St Mary

Rye Parish Church of St Mary near Beckley, East Sussex

Rye Parish Church of St Mary
Church Square
Rye
East Sussex
TN31 7HF
01797 224 935
ryeparishchurch.org.ukVisit Website
Send E-Mail
Import to your address book ...

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 Beckley?

  • Marshall Hall

    Tuesday 19th September
    Location: Rye

    Sir Edward Marshall Hall KC saved more people from the hangman’s noose than any other barrister. In a series of ... more

  • ‘West’ Weston’s Bluesonics

    Tuesday 19th September
    Location: Rye

    One of the most authentic blues bands in the UK, the Bluesonics are fronted by exceptional vocalist and harmonica player ... more

  • Mapp & Lucia Return

    Wednesday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    In celebration of E.F. Benson’s 150th anniversary, a screening of an episode of the 2014 BBC production of Mapp & ... more

  • Lucia's Luncheon

    Wednesday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    Be Lucia for the day and join your friends and acquaintances at the Tuscan Kitchen for good company and an ... more

  • Play With Words

    Wednesday 20th September @ 2:00pm
    Location: Small Hythe

    A creative writing workshop full of tips, exercises and techniques to help you get creative, have fun, and feel good ... more

  • Hastings Piano Competition

    Wednesday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    The Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition is one of the world’s top competitions for young pianists. This 2015 documentary, called ... more

  • DUNKIRK on Camber Sands Beach

    Wednesday 20th September for 2 days
    Location: Rye

    STUDIOCANAL present the premiere of a new restoration of Leslie Norman’s classic wartime epic DUNKIRK (1958), on the very beaches ... more

  • Fiona Graham-Mackay

    Wednesday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    Fiona Graham-Mackay (nee Fiona Margaret Bain) is a British painter, known for her portraits of the British Royal family. She ... more

  • Piano Recital

    Wednesday 20th September
    Location: Rye

    In March this year Kenneth Broberg won the Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition with a fine performance of Gershwin’s rarely ... more

  • Winchelsea Cellars Tour

    Thursday 21st September
    Location: Winchelsea

    There will be seven similar tours over the two weeks of the Festival. The tours are led by expert local ... more

Message

Beckley Message Board