Day 24. Rye, Winchelsea, Hastings – wandering around.

Rye lolly shop

A late rise for me but The Navigator is pissed, the security camera’s alert from early (like 3am) that a “human” has been detected, one phone goes “ping” the other phone buzzes. A check of the camera’s shows Mark mowing our lawn and everytime he goes past where the camera detects him it pings and buzzes. She’s off her nut, can’t work out how to stop the noise (its real its not in her head – or is it?). I change the settings on one phone and put the other on “Aeroplane” mode and the noises stop, The Navigator stops complaining and Mark cops an ear bashing when she phones him later on.

The streets of Rye
The streets of Rye

We wander down town to the Rye shops after a chat with our landlady and her husband, both retired doctors. A pasty and tea and coffee at a nice bakery fills the hungry space and we spend the morning wandering the beautiful old town centre lookig in shops and the only purchase being a truck load of exotic lollies, and they are very tasty. I notice that nearly all the voices I hear are very clipped, very posh English, maybe its the Sussex accent? I dunno ????

The Navigator shopping in Rye

A cup of tea for lunch and we then head to the car in the Rope walk carpark to go driving.

Now a little on the story of Rye. Its a town near the sea in East Sussex with medieval houses, mostly stone, timber and brick. Just over the street from where we are staying in West Street is a red brick house called Lamb House which was once owned by the writer Henry James. There is a Norman Church just above us and right near it the 14th century Ypres Tower which was originally part of Rye’s defences. Over the years its been known as a port, a naval base, a fishing town and a market centre. And its busy this morning, with tourists looking in the many shops.

Next stop is Winchelsea just down the road, it was founded in 1288, after Edward I granted a charter for a town to be located where it is now. They have a weird process to choose their Mayor – Google it if you want to know, its complicated and gives me a headache thinking about it. There is a stunningly beautiful ancient church, St Thomas the Martyr, named after Thomas a Beckett (later he was the Archbishop of Canterbury) and he was later murdered after a blue with the King Henry II. He was then canonised (made a saint – not blown out of a cannon). There are some monuments in the church supposedly Knights Templar We visit this church not because we knew this stuff but because a special favourite of mine is buried in the churchyard. Spike Millgan is buried here, his epitath “I told you I was ill” , a small blue started when his son objected to Spike’s 3rd wife being buring with him and her name being added to the epitath which now says ” may they rest together in perpetual light”. Families eh!

At Spike Mligans Grave

We then fang through the small English laneways and villages through to Battle Abbey, built by William the Conquerer (my 25th Great Grandfather – did I already tell you that?) at the site of the Battle of Hastings to celebrate his victory over Harold – the Anglo Saxon. It costs us 17 quid to get inside the grounds of the Abbey and do the tour of the Battle of Hasting grounds. To be honest the buildings are impressive, and the walk around is interesting but I’m not sure its worth the money. The Navigator takes a minimalist tour, and sits up the top of the hill the Anglo Saxons looked down over The Duke of Normandy and his troops.

The steps to the walking wall at Battle Abbey

Its getting late, so we drive back to Rye through the backroads via the town of Hastings and along the coast for some of the way. Fish and chips is on the go tonight, sea cod and crispy chips with good old vinegar.

Tomorrow we leave Rye and head to Salisbury.

Cherio from Rye – Pauolo


2 thoughts on “Day 24. Rye, Winchelsea, Hastings – wandering around.

  1. Alison says:

    The delightful town of Rye. We made a few memorable trips to Rye from Surrey back in the day…
    I want to read a few favourable comments about the Navigator please


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