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Rye Town Wall

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Ria; Rya; Landgate; Land Gate

In the civil parish of Rye.
In the historic county of Sussex.
Modern Authority of East Sussex.
1974 county of East Sussex.
Medieval County of Sussex (Rape of Hastings).

OS Map Grid Reference: TQ92212061
Latitude 50.95284° Longitude 0.73525°

Rye Town Wall has been described as a certain Urban Defence.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 1 listed building protected by law*.

Description

C14 stone town wall. The fine Land Gate only substantial survival but parts of the town wall are listed in the context of their incorporation into other buildings.

The 2 lower storeys 1340, the top storey 1380. Gate with 2 round towers on moulded plinths flanking it. Built of stone rubble. The parapet has disappeared. The string course and machiolations with moulded corbels remain on the north front. The latter has a pointed arch with grooves for the portcullis. The south front has an elliptical arch flanked by buttresses, of which that on the west has been removed. In the reveals of the inner arch are pointed doorways giving access to the side towers. Rectangular loop windows with ashlar dressings in the towers. Trefoil-headed lancets over the gate. The floors and roof of the gate and towers have disappeared. The clock was inserted in 1862. (Listed Building Report)

A Royal licence to crenellate was granted in 1369 March 3 (Click on the date for details of this licence.).

Comments

Town frequently raided by French in C14. First grant of murage in 1329 and then in 1333, 1336, 1343, 1348. In 1369 murage granted and licence to crenellete. Murage granted again in 1377, but after this levies and fee farm remissions used for fortifications. Despite all this the town was still considered to be in need of fortification and in 1385 a commission was appointed to supervise the fortification of the town and town granted dues paid on fish landed in ports between Hastings and Whitstable and 200 trees were granted. The earlier murage may have been spent on Ypres Tower but the walls seem to date from the late C14 and the several hundred pounds raised from the levy on fish. In the mid C14 much fuss was made of the threat from the French but what the money raised from murage was spent on is unclear.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 08/05/2017 09:39:48

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