A stones throw away from The George in Rye is the Parish Church of St Mary, we visited it mainly because we knew you could climb the bell tower and would get some good views looking down on to the roof's of Rye.
The climb up to the bell tower is along narrow passage ways and some very steep open wooden staircases, not for the faint hearted. At one point you pass the huge bells so timing is everything I feel!
The worst disaster in the church's history occurred in 1377 when the town was looted and set on fire by French invaders and the church was extensively damaged. The roof fell in and the church bells were carried off to France.They were recovered the next year when men from Rye and Winchelsea sailed to Normandy, set fire to two towns and recovered much of the loot, including the church bells - one of which was subsequently hung in Watchbell Street, to give warning of any future attack. It was not returned to the church until early in the 16th century. The tower is now a very popular place for wedding proposals.
It was pretty breezy up there as you can tell from the picture above, but the views are worth it
Climbing back down again and walking around to the side of the church we found this old water cistern. In the 1730s, the town invested £600 in an improved water supply. They ran an elm-wood pipeline into the centre of Rye, and built this cistern as a reservoir, completing the building work in 1735. Inside the oval cistern, there is a floor about 3 feet below ground level, the cistern is big enough to store 20,000 gallons of water. A pump allowed residents to draw water for their needs.
If you are in Rye be sure to go up the tower if your legs and head can handle it, and look out for people with small ring boxes and hope to god she say's yes, It's a long way down if she doesn't.