Along the quay you can see all the old black wooden warehouses which have been renovated and made into shops and restaurants. Unfortunately they are not in this photo.
Rye Tourist Information office is here too.
Just by the Ypres Tower pub are the stocks. I don't know anything about them other than they would have been used to punish local miscreants. What fun it must have been to throw rotten vegetables at some obnoxious neighbour or ne'er do well or undesirable!! A quick and easy way to vent one's frustrations and instantly reduce stress!
We can't do that nowadays but we can still stick our hands through the stocks and imagine what it must have been like :)
The home of the writer Henry James who lived here between 1898-1916 and later was also home to Rumer Godden and EF Benson. Now owned by the National Trust, there is a beautiful walled garden here and some of James' personal effects.
Please see the second photo for opening times and ticket prices etc
The gun garden is part of the Ypres Tower museum but both the garden and the museum can be visited separately - I didn't buy a ticket for the garden as the gate was open and other people just seemed to be wandering in and out - maybe in the winter its free but anyway, there are lots of old cannons and stunning views over Romney Marsh.
Mermaid Street is a gorgeous cobbled street in the centre of Rye. It is apparently one of the most famous streets in England…..nope, I hadn't heard of it either.
Take a walk up the street and admire the lovely timber-framed houses lining it, some of which date back as far as the 15th century. There is the quaint Mermaid Inn, with its award winning restaurant and character-filled bedrooms, or check out the houses with unusual names like "The House Opposite".
My favourite was the "The House with two Front Doors", which not surprisingly did have two front doors (see photo).
At the top of Mermaid Street, turn right and you will be at Lamb House. The building dates back to 1722, and was the home of American author Henry James from 1898 to 1916.
Continue up the road and you will arrive in Church Square, where you will see a large central church surrounded by attractive buildings.
Located in the heart of Rye is the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin. The church was built in 1103 and has obviously been very well maintained - apart from almost being completely destroyed by looters back in 1377.
It is home to the oldest working church tower clock in England, which dates back to 1561. It still has the original pendulum mechanism powering it - they don't make them like that anymore!
Take the time to pop inside the church, and if you are feeling energetic you can climb up the church tower and enjoy the excellent views over Rye and the surrounding area.
The shops are, oldie worldie, quaint and interesting. Just to wander in and browse about with friendly people on hand to chat to is a lovely past time.
Some of the shops are warehouse type, others lead down into cellers.
This is the part of the old fortification that is left standing today and dates back to 1249.
Once it was used for as a prison but now it is a museum.
During the 14th century Rye's defences were strengthened with stone walls and 4 gateways after the town was destroyed in 1377 by the French.
Only the Landgate still stands and sadly no remains of the original Norman Castle.
St. Mary's Church has one of the most interesting graveyards I've come across in years. It was almost impossible to read some of the ancient stones, and the trees were very old and just blooming - it was all very pretty.
The Ypres Tower is one of the oldest buildings in Rye and well worth a visit, even if you don't want to pay and see the museum inside. Outside one finds some old canons (great for picture taking) and a beautiful view out to the sea which is now quite a few miles away. Rye was once one of the Cinque Ports, but the great harbour is no longer part of the modern scene here.
It's interesting to walk past the famous, Mermaid Inn. It's on Mermaid Street, up the hill from the train and bus station. There was a lovely outdoor patio for dining, but it wasn't time for our lunch!
A few miles outside Rye lies Bodiam Castle. You know the pictures of castles that you used to draw when you were a child, complete with moats and turrets? Well, you didn't know it but you were drawing Bodiam. It is the most beautiful 14th century castle and you can just imagine the Lords and Ladies who used to live here. Although it has many defensive features, it was built as a family home, and although the interior is in ruins there is enough to give you an idea of what it must have been like in its grandeur. As you can imagine, Bodiam has been used as the setting for many films, tv series and rock videos. A wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
2005 prices - £4.40 per adult, free to National Trust members. Open February - October only.
Lamb House's claim to fame is that it was the home of the writer Henry James during the early 20th century. It is now open to the public two days a week (part of the house is still lived in so it cannot open more often).
Only three rooms and the garden can be visited. Few of James' original possessions remain, but there is a lot of memorabilia associated with him such as photographs of himself and his literary friends. Sadly, his favourite room where he used to like to write no longer exists, as it was hit by a stray bomb during the second world war (fortunately nobody was hurt).
You only need around half an hour to visit the house, as there is very little to see and the rooms do become a bit crowded.
Open Wednesday and Saturday only, 2pm - 6pm. Price in 2004: 2.75. No toilets or refreshments.
Behind these ivy-covered walls is one of Rye's most famous attractions - the Mermaid pub. The current building dates back to 1420, but it is known that a pub stood on this spot many years before that. During the 18th century it was a favourite place for smugglers to drink.
There is a small beer garden at the back of the inn, and inside the pub is furnished as it might have been centuries ago, with tapestries and creaking old chairs. The drinks are a little more than average, but it is worth it for the atmosphere - we felt that the bar food was a little over-priced though so avoided it.
Accommodation is available at the Inn and it would make the ideal base for a romantic weekend.
In 1897, at the age of 55 Henry James settled into Rye's Lamb House. He used this site as the home of one of his characters in his next novel "The Awkward Age". One of the interesting pieces of memorblia on display is the letter James wrote in 1915 requesting British citizenship.
The property was given to the National Trust in 1950 "to be preserved as an enduring symbol of the ties that unite the British and American people."