The French Connection

For the duration of the Rye Arts Festival (September 12 – 28), Rye Museum was able to display our valuable collection of paintings, old Rye documents and materials from Medieval and Tudor times illustrating the links between Rye and France. The display covered the period between the 11th and 13th centuries when Rye was owned by the Abbey of Fecamp through to the influx of Huguenot refugees in Elizabethan times.  Alas,  it has now had to be returned to The Keep of the East Sussex Record Office, located on the edge of Brighton, for safekeeping.  (Why? Think ‘insurance costs’)  But while it was here it attracted scores of visitors many of whom also lamented it cannot live permanently here.

Did you know Rye was once owned by the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy? That St Mary’s church owes its existence to monks of the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy who also planned the Norman invasion of William the Conqueror? That many of today’s Ryers are of Huguenot ancestry?

Check RyeNews for more details in an article by Heather Stevenson. Now we’re hoping to host a similar exhibition during the 2015 Rye Arts Festival, this time placing still more emphasis on the Huguenot connections legacy in Rye.

First posted in News, Past Events, Rye Town History on 13th October 2014
Last updated: 10th February 2017