Rye Castle Museum
3 East Street
East Sussex TN31 7JY
The old medieval Cinque Ports town of Rye in south-east England has a most interesting folk museum on two separate sites. No. 3 East Street was an old bottling factory for the local brewery until it became the second site of Rye Castle Museum.
Ypres Tower is the other museum site.
The Rye area has a long and varied history spanning several thousand years and two museum sites are necessary to do it justice. The East Street site mainly houses artefacts from the early 18th century on.
One of the main exhibits is the town’s old fire engine, built in 1745. It is complete with hoses and battered lead lined water tanks. It carried 60 gallons (221 litres) of water. Originally it was on a sledge which allowed it to move more quickly over the cobbles but can you imagine how heavy it must have been. It would have needed a team of very strong men to haul it up or down the hill!
The maritime fortunes of Rye are well explained with models of how the coastline changed, the rivers silted up and ships could no longer navigate the waterways. However, shipbuilding thrived and there are fine collections of the tools used and models of the ships built.
Town Charters & Seals
Also on display are the Charters and Town’s Seals. Until recently Queen Elizabeth the First’s Seal was the oldest one but it has now been joined by the Seal of Queen Mary I. These are fine treasures indeed for a local museum.
The Museum is famous for its clay pipe collection and new artefacts are being regularly added from current archaeological digs.
There are exhibits of old toys and games and nursery equipment. One of the most popular displays relates to local author/cartoonist, John Ryan’s lovable character Captain Horatio Pugwash. Children can obtain a free Captain Pugwash Treasure Hunt Quiz from the reception counter.
WWII Dig for Victory
Rye’s part in recent military history is not forgotten and a 'World War II Dig for Victory Garden' has been established to enhance the entrance to the Museum. Already some splendid marrows have been grown!
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Lastminute.com here: External Link
Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays 10:30 – 17:00
Last admission 30 minutes before closing
Visit the Museum website for up to date admission costs.
A joint ticket for both sites (this museum and Ypres Tower) is available.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0)1797 226 728
Rye Castle Museum External Link
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