St Mary’s Church

The pyramid-shaped roof of St Mary’s church tower dominates the skyline for miles around. This is Rye’s oldest surviving building; begun in the 12th century, its size is a testament to how important the Norman town had become in the defence against the French.

The church is open every day. Its stained glass is a highlight (one of the windows was designed by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones), and the tower offers wonderful views over the rooftops and the marshes.

Running round the building’s perimeter is the picturesque Church Square, packed full of ancient timber-framed buildings.