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Thread: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

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    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    I decided to ride to the ancient town of Rye on the south coast of England. Actually it’s one of my favourite places to visit of all time and I’ve been many, many times.

    This is the route I took



    Rye's history can be traced back to before the Norman Conquest (which began in 1066), when, as a small fishing community, it was almost surrounded by water and lay within the Manor of Rameslie. The sea has retreated and now lies two miles from the town and sheep graze where the waves once broke on the beach. More history here.

    Built on a rock, traffic has had to by-pass the town thus preserving it well. Once almost completely surrounded by the sea, Rye was important in the time of Alfred the Great, providing ships and men for the navy. In the 13th and 14th centuries, however, it was frequently attacked by the French and was eventually burnt to the ground in 1377. The fascinating and atmospheric town of the present day is basically the one that grew from the ashes of the old, with 16th century timbered houses and winding cobbled streets.

    I had a pillion passenger, my wife Kath, who helped take a few snaps along the way.





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    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    Re: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    This is one of those safety mirrors on a post to help drivers exiting their driveways – there’s just no way I could ignore it…



    Came across a neat café and called in for a cuppa – they serve good food and it’s a favourite stopping point for riders of all descriptions. The café (point E on the route map) is open on Sundays until 1630.



    More shots from the journey:





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    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    Re: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    Had to stop for the steam train to pass. Everyone seems to marvel at the locomotive engineering and rave about the romance of the age of steam and a bygone era. Me? I had a rather severe coughing fit and wonder what else is actually in the steam? Made a nice sight though.

    It’s a short section of track (about 9 miles I think) owned and run by the Kent & East Sussex Railway – This is the train’s route.









    We got to Rye, parked with all the other bikes and thought we’d grab a snack then wander around the town and see if we could spot any intriguing sights.

    Looking toward Mermaid Street from the Strand Quay motorcycle park


    Our favourite Café – Tambika, directly opposite where the motorbikes park.

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    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    Re: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    Here are some of the more interesting things we saw. Perhaps you’ll see them one day?



    Old-fashioned sweet shop – A favourite haunt of ours. Yummy!


    This is the Cinque Port’s Coat of Arms


    The Cinque Ports have exercised the right to use a coat of arms for many hundreds of years; long before the College of Heralds was established to regulate the use of armorial bearings. Early common seals of the towns of Dover and Hastings suggest that the device of three lions passant guardant conjoined to as many ship’s hulls came into use between 1194 and 1305, possibly during the reign of King Edward I (1272 to 1307).

    Till the 15th century England had no permanent navy to defend it from sea-borne aggression. Instead five ports in the South East - the region most vulnerable to invasion - contracted with the Crown to provide a defensive fleet when required. In return they enjoyed extensive privileges, rather like those of the Hanseatic Ports.

    This Confederation of Cinque Ports (cinque is French for five) was formed probably in the early 11th century. Its ‘Head of State’ was the Lord Warden. The founding Members (‘Head Ports), later joined by Rye and Winchelsea, were Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich.

    The exact origins of the heraldic device are unclear, but it is widely assumed that it was derived from the arms of the English kings from the end of the 12th century, consisting of three golden lions. The suggestion is that these were joined with three ships hulls to denote the ship service rendered by the Cinque Ports to the English Crown.

    By the early 17th century the nation had a big enough permanent Royal Navy for the services of the Cinque Ports to be no longer required. The Confederation still exists, however, and fulfils various ceremonial functions. The post of Lord Warden is now an honorary one, held by figures of the stature of the late Sir Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. It carries with it the right to reside at Walmer Castle, near Deal.


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    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    Re: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    Mermaid Street – Cobbled all the way up to the church.



    Rye Castle, also called Ypres Tower - which houses the Rye Castle Museum


    One of the town’s oldest buildings is Ypres Tower, which was built by order of Henry III to protect Rye against the French in 1249. After the French attack of 1377, the tower was used by the local Corporation until 1430. It was then sold to John de Ypres, before being bought back in 1518 to be used as a prison until 1865. It is the oldest building open to the public in Rye. From the balcony you can look over what was once one of the largest and most important harbours in the country, in the C16th it was the seventh busiest port in the country. It is now farmland.

    Rye has quite a history of smuggling which is known to have existed in the Rye area since the 13th Century, when Edward I introduced the Customs system.

    The earliest references to smuggling are a warrant in 1301 to search for wool, hides, bales and all other merchandise and persons attempting to export money or silver.

    It took an AGE waiting for an almost people-free photo opportunity. Worth the wait though.



    A gorgoyle which is on a low metal box (device?) next to the entrance of the Ypres Tower.

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    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    Re: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    Check out the height of the door just in front of Kath. It’s too short even for my beloved munchkin!



    There’s a panoramic lookout point next to the Admiral’s Apartment and, in the distance, I was sure I could see yet another castle.


    Turns out to be Camber Castle (shown here from the air – courtesy of Google Maps)



    Until the late 16th century, most of the low-lying ground between Rye and Winchelsea was a shallow harbour, called the Camber, protected from the sea by a long series of shingle banks. Between 1512 and 1514 Sir Edward Guldeford built a circular tower at the end of one of these shingle spits to defend the harbour. In 1538 the threat of invasion from Catholic France and Spain led Henry VIII to build a chain of artillery forts along the south coast to protect vulnerable and strategic areas. The existing tower at Camber was incorporated into a new fort built between 1539 and 1544. However the castle was to have a very short active life. By the end of the 16th century the silting of the Camber made the castle largely obsolete and in 1637 the garrison was disbanded. This early abandonment of the castle has meant that unlike other Henrician forts, such as Walmer Castle, that have been greatly modified over the centuries, at Camber Castle the original design still remains.

    More sights


    Rye Landgate - Rye's defences were strengthened with stone walls and 4 gateways in the 14th century after the town was destroyed in 1377. Of these only the Landgate still stands. There are no remains of the original Norman Castle.



    Pssst! This antique shop is cavernous and can swallow about 100 tourists and around 2 hours unless you’re careful!

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    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    Re: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    Back to the motorcycle park (busy busy busy!) where I snapped just a few bikes that caught my eye.








    Didn’t take any snaps on the way home as I was enjoying the breeze and just rode.

    Again, thought I’d give the bike a bug-wipe when I got home but it seemed a little warm.

    I checked the garden thermometer to find this – eeeeek!


    Gave up and headed straight for the coldest drink in the fridge.

    A good day

    Stephen

    PS No, we really DON'T all drive round in such posh old cars - nice though aren't they?

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    Super Member Gojira's Avatar
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    Re: Cinque Port? A ride to the Ancient Town of Rye, England

    SWEEEEEET!!! I can't take it all in!!! But keep it comin'!!!

    Shades of Zeppelin:
    If there's a bustle in your hedgerow don't be alarmed now,
    It's just Steven on his RT.
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    .
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    But, then, the pious optimism and the glib theatricality are disturbed every now and again by intrusions of shattering realities.

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    Just a member stephenwc's Avatar
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    Re: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    Quote Originally Posted by pablodk View Post
    SWEEEEEET!!! I can't take it all in!!! But keep it comin'!!!
    Thanks Paul,

    I'll do my best.

    Stephen

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    Super Member lakemaker's Avatar
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    Re: The Ancient Town of Rye, England - Photos galore!

    Stephen... great ride report and terrific photos. You obviously have great taste in motorcycles... I have exactly the same bike in the same color. Just can't get over that ridin' on the wrong side of the road, though (wink).

    All the best to you and your wife. Ride safe.

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