From Our Collection

Pottery pigs

Pottery pigs

Rye Pottery and the Sussex Pig who ‘wun’t be druv’ Sussex pottery pigs have a detachable head which forms a drinking cup.  The tradition of these pigs was revived by Frederick Mitchell at the Bellevue Pottery from the late 1860s and those of Rye Pottery still fetch large sums at auctions.  The pigs were especially … read more …

First posted in Featured, From Our Collection on 9th March 2015
Last updated: 11th March 2015



Crime and punishment story at the Ypres Tower

Crime and punishment story at the Ypres Tower

THE BREADS GIBBET: A TALE OF CRIME AND PUNISHMENT The cage-like object is a gibbet. In the 1700s a gibbet like this was used to display the body of the murderer John Breads for more than 50 years on Gibbet Marsh.    Our exhibit occupies the very cell where he was kept before he was hanged.  … read more …

First posted in Featured, From Our Collection, Ypres Tower Posts on 12th August 2013
Last updated: 2nd November 2013
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From our Collection: Mantrap

From our Collection: Mantrap

Catch a poacher A mantrap was a mechanical device for catching poachers and trespassers.  In the early 19th century rural labourers couldn’t earn enough to  support their famiiies so to keep from starving they resorted to poaching. Landowners would set steel mantraps in their gardens – a stick held the jaws open, ready for the … read more …

First posted in From Our Collection on 24th March 2013
Last updated: 5th May 2013



Rye Museum Paintings

Rye Museum Paintings

Rye Museum’s paintings are online!   The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) and the BBC recently completed their hugely ambitious project to put online the United Kingdom’s entire collection of oil paintings in public ownership. This makes the UK the first country in the world to give such access to its national collection of paintings. Over 3000 museums and … read more …

First posted in From Our Collection, News on 11th February 2013
Last updated: 21st March 2013



Once on Rye’s High Street

Once on Rye’s High Street

Two figures discovered during building work on Rye’s High Street  were originally used to signpost a tobacconist’s shop. Resembling others known to have been used about 1750, they are curious in two ways. The custom of using wooden Indians as visual symbols for a tobacconist arose in America.  Tobacco was associated with Indians  and potential … read more …

First posted in From Our Collection on 8th February 2013
Last updated: 22nd March 2013
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Scrimshaw for a lass

Scrimshaw for a lass

Scrimshaw is the handiwork created by sailors when they cleaned, polished and decorated the bones and teeth of whales (and sometimes walruses).  This example was found during an excavation on Fishmarket Road in 1890.  It was probably carved by a sailor for his girlfriend. More about Scrimshaw and Whaling Whaling was big business in the … read more …

First posted in From Our Collection on 8th February 2013
Last updated: 13th February 2013
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What are these?

What are these?

The first answer is that they are among the many curious objects in our East Street collection.  Professional photographer Janet Stott has kindly been photographing objects and displays to share with you over the coming months.    What do you think these are? Want a hint?  They were for ladies, not men. Another?  One in the photo has … read more …

First posted in From Our Collection on 25th January 2013
Last updated: 24th March 2013