A view of the parish church from the levels near the harbour taken in October 2004.
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.
The pictures below were taken on 21st July 2005. The first of the beautifully proportioned west end.
Here is the view which first greets the visitor to this splendid building, a view which hides the size of this impressive church.
On the 28th July 2005 I revisited the church to take internal pictures, however the west end was full of scaffolding - building work in progress. Anyway here are a few images of the crossing and east end.
Here is the north chapel.
The chancel is accessed from the tower crossing.
The organ is on the south side of the chancel, occupying part of the south chapel.
The stained glass windows are shown on a separate page, here, or by clicking on the image of St Michael, below.
This grotesque head is in the roof of the north transept.
I also took the opportunity to climb the tower, which is open for visitors for a small fee. The climb to the top requires navigation of the belfry, here are a couple of views of the bells - its not usually possible to visit belfries on a church crawl! Apologies for the dark patches!
Here is the view of the impressive weather vane, dated 1703, from the top - and there are more views of Rye from this splendid observation post here, or by clicking on the picture of the weather vane.
Visitors to this album since June 2003
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