Rye, (East Sussex)

Parish picture

11 miles east of Hastings on the A259, Rye sits on a hill top with the church tower at the highest point, and the buildings clustered all around. The town is situated a few miles from the sea, however during the Middle Ages it stood on a promontory. It was linked to the land by a narrow, easily defensible neck of land, guarded on either side by the wide estuaries of the Rivers Tillingham and Rother.

The Saxons called it 'Atter Ie', meaning 'on the island'. Over the years this was altered to 'Atte Rie', and finally to just Rye.

Parish picture

In 1377 and 1448 the city was burned down by the French. From the 15th Century its importance declined due to raids by the French, the silting up of the estuary and the build up of shingle along the foreshore. However the fishing fleet remains important, and still sails today, unlike the windmill which is merely a reconstruction of the old mill which burned down.

Other Rye parishes:


Places of worship:

Church details, together with baptism, marriage, monumental inscription & burial records can be accessed by clicking on the church name.

Augustinian Friary

Baptist Chapel

Baptist Church

Carmelite Chapel

Congregational Church

Congregational Independent Chapel

Former Augustine Chapel

Holy Spirit, Rye Harbour

Independent Chapel

Kingdom Hall

Methodist Church

Mortuary Chapel (C of E)

Mortuary Chapel (Non conformist)

Providence (now Bethel) Chapel

St Anthony of Padua

St Mary

Wesleyan Chapel

Wesleyan Chapel, Rye Harbour

Census returns:

The OPC Database has no census returns for people residing in this parish yet.

People born in this parish but residing elsewhere:

5 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1851 census.

21 individuals in the OPC Database for the 1861 census.


Grid reference: 592500, 120500 ~ View on: Google Maps, Open Street Map, Streetmap, National Library of Scotland Map or Oldmaps.

Militia records etc:

War Memorial (the lych gate) at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Rye Harbour

Other links relating to this parish:

Rye Castle Museum has a website

Rye Art Gallery has a website

Poll Registers:

The OPC database contains 523 poll register entries for people entitled to vote in this parish.

1641 Protestation Returns:

There are no protestation returns for this parish in the OPC database.


The OPC database contains 484 entries for people associated with this parish mentioned in Gazettes.


There are 341 images depicting this parish in the OPC database.

Roughwood Postcard Album has images of Rye windmill

Pictures of England have pictures of Rye

Postal directories:

The OPC database contains 182 postal directory entries for this parish, (breakdown below).

182 entries from the 1823 Pigot's Directory of Sussex.

The OPC database contains the following directory sections which cover this parish.

1791 Universal British Directory for Battel.

1791 Universal British Directory for Rye.

1823 Pigot's Directory of Sussex for Rye.

1867 Kelly's Directory for Rye is available on the GENUKI site

1840 Pigot Directory for Rye


There are 11 books about this parish in the Sussex OPC Bibliography.

There are 45 articles about this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Collections Index.

There are 18 people from this parish in the OPC Sussex Archeaological Society Members Index.


The OPC database contains 7 wills of people who lived in this parish.

The OPC database contains 4 wills which mention this parish.

Interest in this parish:

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