St Mary’s Church

Church Square Rye TN31 7HF

Situated at the heart of old Rye, and providing marvellous views over the surrounding area and coast from its tower, St Mary’s has stood here for the best part of 1000 years and is home to the oldest still-functioning pendulum clock in the country (from the 1560s). The church bells too have quite a story: in 1377 french invaders burnt much of the town to the ground, looting as they went and carrying the bells to France. The following year, men from Rye and Winchelsea sailed to Normandy, set fire to two towns and returned much of the loot including the bells, finally reinstalled in the church in the 16th Century. St Mary’s also has some fine stained glass, including a window designed by the pre-Raphaelite Burne-Jones in the north aisle. This is still a serving church for the parish of rye and welcome visitors throughout the week.

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