[July, 2022] After a delicious lunch in Rye, a small town in the south of England, we went sightseeing using the map we got at the tourist information centre.
First, we went to St. Mary’s Church, but it was in the middle of a wedding ceremony, so we couldn’t go inside, so we went to the castle instead.
Although it is called a castle, it is just a square stone building with four columnar towers connected together, and a small garden with an annex building at the end.
It was built around 1250 to prevent attacks from France.
The inside is a museum, and it costs £4 to enter.
It is said to have been a prison from the 15th to the 19th century, and exhibits show how prisoners were chained and some tools used by the police and the military in the past, but the view from the terrace is more attractive.
Rye does not face the sea now, but it used to be one of the most important ports in the past, and was one of the Cinque Ports.
By the way, this Cinque is not from Italian Cinque, but from old French Cinque.
I could see the deep blue sea in the distance from this terrace.
The annex tower in the garden was a women’s prison built in the 19th century and one of the oldest in England.
After leaving here, we entered St. Mary’s Church.
It was a big and splendid church for such a small town, and it had beautiful stained glass.
The church has a history dating back to the early 12th century, and according to the pamphlet I received, it could have been used as a warehouse for contraband around the 16th century.
The present appearance is mainly a restoration in the 19th century.
Again, we paid £4 and went up to the tower.
It is higher than the castle towers, so it overlooks not only the town of Rye, with its charming old roofs, but also the surrounding nature.
It was a sunny day, and I felt really good.
Our last stop was Mermaid Street.
This is one of Rye’s main tourist attractions and is, according to the Tourist Board, “one of Britain’s most famous and picturesque streets”.
With old houses lined up on both sides of the round stone-paved slope, this street certainly has a charm.
But the street was shorter than I expected.
There is an old-fashioned hotel called Mermaid Inn in the middle of this street.
It is said to have been built in the 11th century.
It is also said that the inn was once the hideout of a notorious smuggling organisation.
A couple of friends in London said they have already booked to stay here next year.
It must be interesting to stay there.
That was the end of our sightseeing.
After all, it was a lovely little town.
Only thing was that due to the increased tourism compared with my previous visits, there were many fashionable shops, and it was difficult to find a shop where you could buy small items such as chocolate bars.