• Anne Oakley, Vestments in Miniature

    Anne Oakley, Vestments in Miniature

  • Wet day leads to large attendance for children’s activity afternoon

    Wet day leads to large attendance for children’s activity afternoon

  • Thumbs up from Tower visitors!

    Thumbs up from Tower visitors!

  • A Year in the Life of Rye Museum

    A Year in the Life of Rye Museum

  • Garden Party 2015

    Garden Party 2015

  • Sheep and others flock to Rye Museum sites

    Sheep and others flock to Rye Museum sites

  • The Huguenots of Rye

    The Huguenots of Rye


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.  And within an article, click on a photo to enlarge it.  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.

 Save these dates!

Thursday, 8th October 7:30 East Street
Talk:  Waterloo by Chris Viner

One of our most popular speakers, and maker of model soldiers in demand around the world, returns to give us his slant on the famous battle.  Note the change to a Thursday evening for our talks this year and you are advised to come early.  There will be a raffle and refreshments.

Friday, 16th October  6:30 – 10 p.m.  East Street and the Town HallGala Evening! 
Cheese and wine at East Street followed by a double bill  performance by the Rye Shakespeare Company at the Town Hall Theatre — to raise funds to restore one of the favourite exhibits at the East Street Museum: the penny farthing.

Saturday, 7th November from 10:30.  East Street. Conference: 35th Anniversary of the Great Plague

Meanwhile, there are new things on show  both at the Tower and at East Street.  Come see for yourself and bring your friends.

At the Museum

We’re Still Breaking Records!

We have continued to welcome record numbers of visitors both at the Tower and at East Street, such good news for a museum that is entirely independent, relying for income on an admission charge at the Tower and donations at East Street.   We earlier reported that thanks to a stop-and-look banner and FREE admission — and wonderful volunteer stewards — we’d attracted over 8000 visitors to our second site during last year’s summer season — a whopping increase in visitor numbers  of over 605%!  Recently we noted that we’d welcomed nearly 1650 visitors to East Street during the first four weeks of the season, mostly because of our weekend openings — and we are only open at weekends there! Now we can top that too:  On Saturday and Sunday August 29th and 30th we had nearly 300 each day!

If you would like to join our  band of volunteer stewards do let us know.  It’s fun and rewarding and a chance to meet interesting people.

As for the Tower which is open every day of the year and continues to be a major Rye attraction, there have been as many as 600 visitors in a single day!  We share Tower visitors’ comments with you in one of the featured articles on the slideshow above; they make us very proud.

A new editor on the way!

Your current Editor, Jean Floyd, is happy that Ray Prewer, recently retired from a full-time IT job, is willing to share the job with immediate effect and will shortly be taking over as our website’s Editor.  Look for some fresh ideas and perhaps a new look too very soon.

 The WACOR book is online!

There’s a lively and informative illustrated book online showing all the projects, events, workshops, courses, memory days and discovery days of the WACOR Project in about 36 pages. A splendid summing up of two very productive years. Click here to see it.

Summer in the Medieval Garden and the  Still Room at the Tower

The medieval herb garden at Ypres Tower  is now coming into bloom and the Still Room within the Tower has  been refreshed,  thanks to our expert,  Lin Saines.   It now has a more Edwardian look including rose petal, oatmeal and lavender bath-bags, roses and a change of herbs. (It smells lovely.) Lin has added a Lavender bag with original 1940’s ladies’ ‘Rever’s’ collars in embroidered net-lace. The family who owned these machines worked Princess Diana’s lace for her Wedding Dress.  According to Lin, Victorian and Edwardian ladies  loved making sachets in home-made lace this way.

Lin’s book, The Garden Beyond the Tower, illustrated by Brian and Joyce Hargreaves and published by Rye Castle Museum, is about our Medieval Garden and the Still Room in the Tower and is available at both of our museums.

A write-up of Brian’s work, Remembering Brian Hargreaves, which accompanied a recent Rye Art Gallery exhibition should be of interest as the Hargreaves together have done so much for the Museum — as Joyce continues to do.  Click here  (or on Brian Hargreaves under Local History at right).

WACOR Project Videos

If you didn’t click on the Slideshow photo above of some of the children featured in the video series, do so now to see any or all of the four YouTube products of the very successful WACOR Project.  So many more people of all ages have become acquainted with the Museum and what it offers,  and learned a great deal about Rye while having a great deal of fun.  Many thanks to all those who took part and supported!

We hope you noticed the featured post above on Remembering Brian Hargreaves. Were you fortunate enough to see the outstanding work of Brian and Joyce Hargreaves at the recent Rye Art Gallery exhibition too?  Even if you were not, a write-up of Brian’s work which accompanied the exhibition should be of interest as the Hargreaves together have done so much for the Museum — as Joyce continues to do.  Click here  (or on Brian Hargreaves under Local History at right).

 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.

Marsh Panorama

 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.