Rye Royal


Rye will be celebrating the 450th anniversary of the visit of Queen Elizabeth I with a spectacular day of events on Saturday August 12. Following an idea first raised by town crier Paul Goring, the day remembers 1573 when the queen bestowed the title of Rye Royal on the town and has been organised by Rye Heritage Centre, in collaboration with Rye Players and Rye in Christmas.

We have enlisted the help of Ryebellion Drummers, The Sing it Out choir, the
Harbour Herrings shanty group and Tony Pape’s Madrigal Singers, who are reforming especially for the day. There will be a procession, several re-enactments of historical events, singing, and a performance of Much Ado About Nothing by Rye Players in the gardens of the monastery by special permission of Alex MacArthur. We are also hoping to be joined by the Sheppey Pirates who will mark the occasion by firing cannon from the Gun Gardens. It’s a free event for the local community and visitors, and we hope as many as possible will join in the procession and enjoy the atmosphere.

Saturday August 12 timetable (all timings approximate and subject to change):

3:15pm Procession is assembled at the foot of Conduit Hill and following a cry by the town crier, it will make its way up the hill and onto the High Street, accompanied by Ryebellion Drummers.

3:40pm At the anchor outside Rye Heritage Centre, the queen will be presented with bloaters from a member of the local fishing community and a sea shanty will be performed.

3:45pm We head to the Mermaid Inn for some entertainment and a re-enactment of the visit to the inn.

4:05pm Procession travels down Mermaid Street into Traders Passage where we may encounter the ghost of Queen Elizabeth’s maid who is said to haunt these parts. It will then continue into Watchbell Street, through the churchyard, and arrive at the town hall

4:30pm At the town hall the mayor will present the queen with a bag of golden angels
(coins), there will be a rendition of Merrie England and then the church bells will
accompany our progress to the Gun Garden for an inspection of the cannons.

4:45pm Finally the procession will return to the Monastery gardens where the Rye Players will perform Much Ado About Nothing from 5:15pm – 6:15pm.

August 12 flyer

Image Credits: Simon Parsons , Heritage Centre .

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