Rye Heritage Centre
East Sussex TN31 7AY
The main A259 road to Rye in East Sussex runs along the Strand Quay. On one side of the road is the River Tillingham and on the other is a clapper-board Sail Loft with a large anchor and a ship’s figurehead in the courtyard.
This is the Rye Heritage Centre which is well worth a visit.
Despite its name, the Centre is a tourist attraction and not the official Visitor Centre which is in the centre of Rye in Lion Street. Nevertheless, the Centre is a great place to discover Rye’s 700 year old history and its colourful past in an entertaining way.
Intrigues, royal visits, French invasions, myths, ghosts and smugglers are brought to life in a fascinating show, centred on the beautifully crafted to scale Rye Town Model.
As the stories unfold, the commentary is enhanced by dramatic sound and light effects – the relevant parts of the town being highlighted as the events occur. The shows last approximately 20 minutes and are available in English, French, German or Spanish.
Thanks to the Centre, images of Rye’s past will surface as you wander the real cobbled streets and passages of the old town.
Edwardian Amusement Machines
As well as the Town Model there is a fascinating collection of old Penny-in-the-Slot working models and novelty games machines. You know, the sort found on Edwardian Seaside Piers where, for the cost of an old fashioned English penny, you could be titillated by ‘What the Butler Saw’ or be amazed by mechanical models laughing or telling your fortune.
This unique collection houses working models and machines from the early 1900s to 1960. The display includes the famous Laughing Sailor, The Haunted Churchyard, The Beauty Parade, The Crying Baby and The English Executioner.
They are all operated with the old English penny that stopped circulation in 1971. These are readily available to buy at the museum, so the machines can be played and enjoyed.
Rye Audio Walking Tours
Available for hire are Audio Wands. These historical tours in English bring Rye’s fascinating past to life as you follow the audio guide around the cobbled streets. You will need to pay a deposit, refundable on return of the Audio Wand.
Plan Your Visit
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here: External Link
Gift shop, picnic site, toilets.
All year. Check the official website for details.
April to September: 10:00 - 17:00 hours.
October to March: the attraction closes one hour earlier.
Check the official website below for up to date prices.
Contact & Further Information
+44 (0) 1797 226 696
Rye Heritage Centre External Link
- By Car It's easy to get to Rye Heritage Centre. Just over an hour's journey by car from the M25, via the A21 (exit at Flimwell) or via M20 and A2070.
Rye is on the A259 between Hastings and Folkestone, and close to the Port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel terminal at Folkestone. The Rye Heritage Centre is located on the Strand Quay right on the A259.
Google Maps - Rye Heritage Centre