Rye Stories and Tips

Rye, England

Rye, England, one of the 'Cinque Ports' is still one of my favorite places to visit in that country (visited there in 92, 94, 96, 97, and 99). Perhaps it is because I am 25% Brit (four of my 16 gr gr grandparents came from England as teenagers), perhaps it is because my immigrant ancestors lived in the area, or perhaps it is because the area around Rye is the epitome of quaint.

Rye is a walled city, and the principal entry to the old part of the city is through a city gate in that wall. The High Street is lined with shops, and we always find one or more pieces of porcelain to add to our collection in Grahams.

One of the original 'Cinque Ports' Rye received special tax breaks in exchange for provisioning the King's ships (or something like that). Later it became a center for smuggling. Then its harbor silted up, leaving the town high and dry.

The author of the 'Mapp and Lucia' stories (serialized on PBS some years back) was the mayor of Rye in the thirties, and used it as the fictional town in which his stories were set.

The medieval Ypres tower houses a small museum. One can climb (for a fee) to the top of the bell tower in the Parish Church, which boasts a decoration given by the city of Rye, New York.

Because it is a resort area, many local B&B's require a two night stay minimum.

Rye is some 60 or so miles SE of London, and an easy drive (or train ride). Don't fail to take a side trip to nearby Battle (site of the Battle of Hastings), and Bodiam Castle is one of the loveliest Castles in all of England. Both are less than twwenty miles from Rye.

In a Public House called the White Hart, at Cripps Corner (on the way to Battle) I had the best Bread Pudding I have ever eaten.

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