• Museum Highlights 2013-14

    Museum Highlights 2013-14

  • East Street News Flash

    East Street News Flash

  • Ryers Rally Round the Museum

    Ryers Rally Round the Museum

  • Rye Castle: Talk July 8th

    Rye Castle: Talk July 8th

  • Medieval Conference artist

    Medieval Conference artist

  • Once a Prison, Now a  Success Story

    Once a Prison, Now a Success Story

  • Introducing our  Virtual Tour

    Introducing our Virtual Tour


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.

WACOR Courses

As for WACOR activities during August,  the welcome  news is that there are still three workshops for 8 to 12 year olds  on offer. See below.  If you missed the first three get in touch with Michelle to see if there are spaces on any of these.  They’re fun!   As spaces are very limited  they need to be booked.  There is a booking fee of £2.00 to cover costs of the course leader.

For a splendid example of a high quality WACOR project follow this link to a blog on  the WACOR Photography Course. Impressive!  The series of courses below are being run by Radiator Arts of Hastings. They are a talented team of experienced artists, designers, performers and volunteers who provide innovative workshops and community events that ‘lift and spirits and expand the imagination of participants and audiences alike’.

The Courses

14th August     Decoupage 11.00 till 1.30
19th August     Ceramics 11.00 till 1.00
22nd August   Scrapbooking  11.00 till 1.00
26th August    Woodworking 10.00 till 1.00
Call Michelle on 01797 229600 or email her at michelle.playford@ryepartnership.org to book your place(s).

New Award for Museum

Trip AdvisorCongratulations to the Museum. All the hard work over the past years have paid off with this Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.


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 SpSchool visitruce 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

High Sheriff & wife

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.

CJM Gebbie High SheriffWe 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.

Marsh Panorama

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 . . .

Russian visitors May 2014



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

J S Porter TV

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.