Ranked #12 of 232 attractions in East Sussex
Category: Historic Sites
For more than 900 years the Parish Church of Rye, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, has dominated the hill on which the old...
For more than 900 years the Parish Church of Rye, dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, has dominated the hill on which the old town stands.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 magnificent church, which has sometimes been called 'the Cathedral of East Sussex'. Today, if you wish, you can climb the church tower where, from the top, you can see magnificent views of Rye and the surrounding countryside. St Mary's is open to visitors every day of the year, except for Christmas Day, from 9.15am - 5.15pm in summer and 9.15am - 4.15pm in winter. Admission to the church is FREE. The Visitor Centre stocks a good range of postcards, Christian greetings cards, prayer cards, books, gifts and Christian jewellery. The Tower, which is open every day (weather permitting) for a charge, has become a popular place for marriage proposals!