The Museum welcomes school visits to both its sites: the Castle (Ypres Tower) and East Street which is a short walk from the Castle.
The Castle has had many uses during the past several hundred years; it has been a home, a gaol, a storehouse, a mortuary. . . . The displays are appropriate to the building and include medieval armaments, smuggling. military uniforms and the ever-popular gaol cells.
There is a new interactive model of Romney Marsh on the first floor. It shows the changing coastline over the centuries and the strategic position of Rye as well as each of the Romney Marsh villages with their famous churches.
Also available is a Captain Pugwash quiz.
However visitors can still put on items of historic apparel and be photographed, find out how long it took to create chain mail and view lethal medieval weapons.
And on the balcony off the first floor are direction indicators for viewing the Rother, Romney Marsh, Rock Channel where so many ships were built in times past, Camber Castle, now stranded, Rye Harbour in the distance and much more.
The East Street site houses the main Collection, which covers various aspects of the history of Rye, including a wooden 18th century Fire Engine. complete with leather buckets and hoses and holding 60 gallons of water, used to quench Rye fires for over 120 years. Can you imagine pulling it over Rye’s cobbled streets?
Other exhibits of particular interest to the younger set include Captain Pugwash, schooling and games in times past and Rye ships and shipbuilding. Always popular is the Captain Pugwash quiz which yields a prize every month to a young visitor.
The museum has several themes boxes, which may be loaned to schools as described above.
Victorian & Edwardian Collection
This loan box contains a number of objects for the students to handle and talk about. It is aimed to fit in with the History National Curriculum topic on ‘Victorians’, although many of the objects went on being used during the Edwardian period and later. Students can handle small domestic items, discover how they were designed, made and used. They can draw and relate them to costumes, architecture and furniture of the time. This can be used to support History at Key Stages 1 and 2.
Toys through the Ages
This box supports History KS1 & 2. It contains a variety of toys of various ages and materials, computer discs with a slide show of toys, time line information, and containers with various words for children to select descriptions of toys.
Seaside Loan Box
This box supports History and Geography KS1 & 2. It contains a variety of objects from Victorian to Modern times relating to the Seaside. They include bathing suits, souvenirs, postcards, drawings and photographs. There is also music and a tape recording of a seaside visit in the 1930’s.
World War II Loan Boxes
These boxes, supporting History KS1 & 2, contains a variety of objects concerned with the Home Front including Gas Masks, Posters, Ration Books and I.D. cards and wartime clothing. There is a cookery book, Just William, air raid recordings, wartime music and Churchill speeches.
Cost of the Service
Loan Boxes: £20.00 for WWII boxes, £10 for other boxes, to be collected by the school
Visit to the Museum: £1 per student under 16 : £1.50 per student 16+. Teachers accompanying students are free.