• What a Ménage à  Trois !

    What a Ménage à Trois !

  • Half Term Fun at the Museum

    Half Term Fun at the Museum

  • Winchelsea’s Poor: Their Lives through Letters

    Winchelsea’s Poor: Their Lives through Letters

  • Which is the Spy?

    Which is the Spy?

  • Busy afternoon at the Museum

    Busy afternoon at the Museum

  • Party Time for Museum Members

    Party Time for Museum Members

  • A Night at the Museum

    A Night at the Museum


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 here for a quick video introduction to our Museum.  Many thanks to Dilys Major for the script and to staff and students at Rye Studio School for the filming and narration.
  • Click on a topic at right for a choice of articles in that category.
  • For other tips on using the site click  here.

Click on a photo in the slideshow to get a story.    For a  range of happenings coming soon be sure to check on Coming Events at right.  Is your diary up-to-date?  .   And to see details of our Talks programme for the next 8 months click here or on TALKS above.  

It’s proving a very Christmasy December in Rye!

We’ve had several very successful events this month:   the Christmas Fair at St Mary’s on the 2nd and the Craft Afternoon on Rye’s Toyland Christmas Celebration Day on the 9th — plus the Father Christmas Grotto held elsewhere this year because of the expected numbers but which Museum volunteers helped with as usual.  Reports coming.

We Have Registered with Amazon

The Museum is now an Amazon Associate. This means that whenever you shop at Amazon, no matter what you buy, the Museum can receive a percentage of the total at no extra cost to you. To take advantage, start your shopping trip by visiting our website and clicking on the Amazon search box in the upper right sidebar (if you don’t see the Amazon box, please disable your ad blocker for our page). We appreciate it very much.

Visit over the Holidays

A reminder that the Castle is open every day but Christmas and Boxing Day. If you have family in town for the holidays, why not bring them to see one of Rye’s best attractions?

The Next Talk is in February

The next talk is Thursday, February 8th. The topic is “Resorting to the Coast” with Geoffrey Mead. Geoff is an expert in the geography and history of Sussex and an excellent speaker — and a Trustee of the Museum. It’s sure to be an interesting evening.

Funding News

The Museum was delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Rye Fund to replace our digital projector, which had been acting up during talks. We were also remembered in the will of a former member, who left us a generous gift of ceramics from local potteries.

Computer Catastrophe

The office computer died last month, completely and without warning and during the restoration process we have not always been able to update news of events past or to come. We’ve now managed to restore all – or very nearly all – of our data, but we suspect there may be some discrepancies in the membership database. If you notice anything amiss in your address or other information we’re very sorry, and do please let us know. We’re particularly anxious to have your most recent correct email address.

Visiting the Museum 

The East Street Museum is now closed for the winter except for special events but our Ypres Tower is open every day throughout the year 10.30-5pm with last entry 30 minutes before closing. A new exhibition showcase of the Cinque Port Volunteers is on display. Children are free with a paying adult.

New volunteers are always welcome and being a volunteer  can be a rewarding social experience. Contact the museum if you are interested:  info@ryemuseum.co.uk  or 01797 226728.


ryeinthetwentiesRye Royale in the Nineteen Twenties by Jo Kirkham
The latest Rye Museum publication 

While Jo Kirkham’s latest talk at the Museum, The Story of Rye Royale, presents highlights of Rye’s centuries-long story of its connections to the Crown, this book,  Rye Royale in the Nineteen Twenties, is specifically about a particular period, featured in one of the most recently mounted exhibits at the East Street museum. The exhibit and the book are in honour of Her Majesty the Queen’s ninetieth birthday and present Rye as it was in the decade of her birth: the people and events, the industries and entertainments the shops, schools, hospitals, courts and theatres.   The illustrated 54 page book costs £5 and is available at the Museum.



Trip Advisor Recommendations

There are lots of compliments for our Ypres Tower site on Trip Advisor.  You can see them here.  Our only ‘bad’ report, spoiling our near perfect score, seems to have come about because a visitor who had just had a maddening time trying to find a parking space in Rye  was looking for someone to blame their parking problems on! (They made no comment about the museum itself.)

 Update on a recent speaker

Rye Museum certainly hosts some fascinating talks!  An outstanding one was Hands of Genius by micro-engraver Graham Short during the Rye Festival.  (Click here to refresh your memory or, if you missed it, to find out why it was so special.)  He’s recently been making the news again, this time by secretly releasing four five pound notes worth thousands of pounds as part of a project by a gallery in the Borders. On each of the new plastic notes he had engraved  a tiny (5mm) portrait of and a quote by Jane Austen to mark the 200th anniversary of her death. You may remember that his portrait of the Queen on a pinhead had sold for £100,000.  These, each with a different quote, are said to be worth thousands more, though the finders of the first two have decided to keep them rather than sell them.

 Yes, we’re Still Breaking Records!

Over the past year we continued to welcome record numbers of visitors both at the Tower and at East Street, up from last year, which is 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.  

At 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!  There are LOTS of additions and improvements at the Tower:  new furniture and display panels, smartened-up exhibits, better lighting, a new model of the changing shoreline . . . .   Thanks to a stop-and-look banner and FREE admission — and wonderful volunteer stewards — we attracted thousands of visitors to our second site on East Street, during the summer season.   

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.

Virtual Tour of Romantic Rye

Move around Rye without leaving your chair courtesy of 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.

When you are at the Tower, 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