Welcome to the Rye Museum website! There is lots to explore. Click on a slideshow photo or the photos in the other boxes to see the whole article. (Be sure to note what has been happening at East Street for example.) Click on a topic at right for a choice of articles in that category. For other tips on using the site click here. For other current news keep scrolling down. Click on MEDIEVAL CONFERENCE for updates on this major event on 18th October.
A celebration of WACOR achievement will take place at the Tilling Green Community Centre on 3rd September from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. when there will be displays showing the many activities during the length of the project (as well as a film and refreshments). One of Rye’s responsibilities on receiving Heritage Lottery Funding for the repair and development of the Women’s Tower was to provide an education and outreach programme featuring the roles of women and children in the story of Rye — thus WACOR (the Women and Children in Rye project) which has been managed for the Museum by the Rye Partnership.
Many workshops, activity and craft days, reminiscence afternoons and special events have been organised with impressive outcomes, as those who attend the gathering on 3rd September will see. Perhaps best of all is the opportunity the project has offered to introduce many more in the wider community, particularly Tilling Green, to Rye’s history and our Rye Castle Museum. It has also provided a good example of Rye organisations (Rye Museum and Rye Partnership in this case) working together. Many thanks to all who have helped and supported! If you’d like to join in this celebration let the Community Learning Officer Michelle Playford know by phone 01797 229600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
New Award for Museum
More Accolades for Rye Castle and our East Street Museum
- Two stories about our revitalised Rye Castle have recently appeared in local media. From Rye’s new online newspaper RyeNews: Women Behind Bars and from the Rye and Battle Observer a piece headed ‘Exciting New Attractions now open at Rye Castle’.
- A lovely card from Blue Spruce Class, Beckley School after their visit to the Castle.
Inside the card reads “Thank you for showing us around your museum and talking to us about smuggling.”
- And tributes in the new Visitors’ Book at East Street too, e.g.
- So interesting to see how things were down back in time. A must for all!
- A wonderful museum. So nice to find out about the people behind the objects!
For more tributes see the infographic on the slideshow above.
High Praise from High Sheriff
The East Sussex High Sheriff C.J.M. Gebbie Esq. OBE and his wife came recently to see our newly refurbished Ypres Tower and the newly opened Women’s Tower. They were so impressed with all they saw at the Tower they are coming back to see more!
What is a High Sheriff? A High Sheriff is an independent, honorary, non-political Royal appointment for a single year. In Saxon times the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for maintaining law and order within his shire or county and for collecting taxes due to the Crown. Today High Sheriffs support and encourage crime prevention agencies, emergency services, the voluntary sector and local charities.
We are fortunate that our High Sheriff knows a great deal about ancient monuments and the organisations which support them and was able to fully appreciate what has been done in Rye to preserve our Ypres Tower and restore the Women’s Tower.
Not been to the Ypres Tower lately? It’s certainly time to go again!
While we await the Go-Ahead for our plans for development at the Ypres Tower so that we can have everything on one site, we urge you to revisit it as it has been transformed during the past year and the feedback from visitors is glowing! In the main tower there’s the wonderful new Virtual Tour and the skeleton of John Breads in the very cell where he awaited his fate. Kids love it! and John Ryan’s book Murder in the Churchyard is on sale at the Tower. And in the newly opened Women’s Tower with its Audio-Visual display you can learn about life as a woman prisoner nearly two centuries ago. You can find out more about these attractions elsewhere on this site.
There are LOTS of other additions and improvements at the Tower: new furniture and display panels, smartened-up exhibits, better lighting, a new model of the changing shoreline . . . .
Don’t forget to admire the views from the Lookout (the balcony). Here is a recent Marsh panorama contributed by Peter Varley. For more views — by Clive Sawyer, click here.
A Virtual Tour of Romantic Rye
Move around Rye without leaving your chair. courtesy Visit Rye Bay. To go directly to the video click here. Mercifully free of chatter, it will lead you up and down the streets, zooming in on houses, buildings, views. . . If you’ve been to Rye can you recall where all these places are? If you’ve not, we encourage you to come and tour the town for real.
Among other recent visitors . . .
Rye’s Castle gets visitors from around the world as well as a steady stream from France, Germany, Belgium and Holland. Most recently there have been groups from Taiwan, South Korea and Hungary — and the two Russians pictured here with our Chairman Jo Kirkham.
Eduard Schaffer is a Russian helicopter pilot who flew many sorties over the burning Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor from 26th April- to 2nd May 1986, dropping various compounds into the fire caused by the explosion, in order to put the fires out. He was accompanied by his interpreter, Nicolai, who first came to England about 10 years ago on one of the month long visits to the UK for children from the Chernobyl area– similar to the ones we have hosted annually in Rye for many years. Eduard spoke (with Nicolai interpreting) at the recent St George’s Day Youth Service at St Mary’s.
During their time in Rye the two particularly enjoyed seeing our new exhibit at the Women’s Prison Tower, offering interesting comparisons with prisons in Russia.
The BBC at the Tower (again!). Watch for the programme
With its Rye Scallop Festival and Wild Boar Week and proximity to Romney Marsh and its lambs, not to mention its award-winning restaurants, Rye is on the British food map. So it is no surprise the BBC came here again to film for their new television series A Taste of Britain.
Pictured are chef Brian Turner and presenter Janet Street-Porter on the balcony at the Ypres Tower during the filming.
The pair talk a bit about the town before preparing some recipes which should, of course, include those Rye Bay scallops and Romney Marsh lamb.
The programme will be transmitted on BBC1 in September. Meanwhile the BBC has been here yet again to film a new production of the ever-popular Mapp and Lucia which will be shown in December.