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. 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.
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.
Promoting Rye 1
Rye’s appeal to overseas visitors is obvious to all who live here, and the number of languages to be heard some days in our small town can be quite astonishing. One active promoter of Days Out in Rye is JTB World Vacations (of the Japan National Tourism Organisation) which has produced a delightful brochure to encourage Japanese women to visit Rye and is happy for us to share it. It is titled Joshitabi in Britain — Joshitabi means women — and we think you’ll find it interesting even if you don’t know Japanese. Click here to see it.
Promoting Rye 2
Have you seen the delightful film Shaun the Sheep? It was showing recently at the Kino in Rye. Well, Shaun the Sheep and his friends have been gallivanting across the country, courtesy Visit England to see some of England’s best places to holiday. This week he came to Rye and we are grateful to Jane of Visit 1066 Country for sending us Shaun’s selfie photos. Here is the one taken at the GunGarden by the Ypres Castle. Click on Facebook at the bottom of this page and you will be able to see the others too
At the Museum
We’re Still Breaking Records!
We have continued to 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 reported earlier that there had been 2,137 visitors during the first five weeks of weekends-only openings at East Street. 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! Watch for updated figures.
We are planning to open East Street on some weekdays too — but for that we would welcome more volunteer stewards. Perhaps you would like to be one? You’d find this a very interesting and rewarding way to spend a morning or afternoon. Thanks to a stop-and-look banner and FREE admission — and wonderful volunteer stewards — we attracted over 8000 visitors to our second site during last year’s summer season — a whopping increase in visitor numbers of over 605%! With your help we could reasonably expect to better that record this year.
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.
Check the Events Box at right for dates to add to your diary. Meanwhile come to East Street on a weekend to see the Mapp and Lucia exhibits, admire our new red chairs, and perhaps buy a book or two. Titles in our bonanza children’s book collection at the Bookstall have been going fast but there are still some real bargains.
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!
Brian Hargreaves: His Life and Work
Were you fortunate enough to see the outstanding work of Brian and Joyce Hargreaves at the recent Rye Art Gallery exhibition? 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.
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.