Sunday, September 02, 2007

The ancient cinque port of Rye

The other day I popped over to Rye.
It's one of the original Cinque Ports which, in the 13th century was one of 5 towns along the coast of Kent and Sussex which provided King Henry 111 and later Edward 1 with safe harbours, a quota of ships and men to sail them.
In return for their support the ports, - defined as 'Antient Towns' - were granted common rights and privileges, with freedom from taxes and custom duties, trading concessions and rights to hold judicial courts.

Although Rye still has a harbour, the sea is now several miles away and reached by a winding river.

Enough of the history lesson! Today Rye is an important destination for tourists with a passion for history. Fortunately the town has avoided becoming commercialised and has remained largely unchanged for centuries.

The main feature of Rye is it's cobbled streets which are lined with ancient timbered buildings, each of which has a history of it's own.
It's proximity to France made it a major smuggling town in days gone by, and many of the houses are linked by tunnels, then on to the face of the cliffs which still show the signs of the sea that once lapped against them.

I'll say no more! The pictures I think, speak for themselves!


  1. oh - aren't you going to phone me back? Tim (ps, great article)

  2. These photos make me want to jump on a plane and come have a look.
    Absolutely beautiful!
    We have nothing to even compare!

  3. Keith this is lovely and so very interesting. The area is quaint and I bet it was fun to stroll around at.
    Wonderful, beautiful pics. Hugs to you.

  4. I'll put this on my still to see list. Sussex is beautiful. That's what I miss here most. The beautiful historic buildings and places.

  5. I'd love to come to learn its history, but you mentioned that the sea lapped along the sides of this port but the town is now up a river. Does that mean that England has a larger footprint now, than it did 8 hundred years ago? Is there another island still rising?

  6. Hey there Cheffie I love the cobbled street that is beautiful and so are the buildings.

  7. what a beautiful place to visit. I just love these pictures!



Dear WORDPRESS friends. If you are having difficulty posting please 'Comment as' either:-

a) Name/URL
b) Anonymous with your name included in your comment.

Thank you!