'The Quiet Woman' of Rye Harbour

The Star Inn at Norman's Bay which was used for exterior shots of 'The Quiet Woman'

Rye Harbour was once the location for an exciting film involving post-war smugglers, an escaped convict, jealousy, romance and a thrilling finale in the harbour waters, all centred on a coastal pub called “The Quiet Woman”.
The film was released in 1951 and starred Derek Bond, Jane Hylton and Dora Bryan, who was a long time resident of East Sussex. It is a wonderful cinematic record of how Rye Harbour looked almost 70 years ago. One of the distinctive buildings appearing in the film is the towering tidal lighthouse, now demolished. The film features Winchelsea rail station as well as Icklesham’s Hog Hill studios, referred to in the film as “The Mill on the Hill”. The Star Inn at Norman’s Bay at Cooden Beach stands in for the hostelry of the title. There are also lots of action shots aboard “The Saucy Snipe”, a boat moored in the harbour.
The film was recently broadcast on Talking Pictures TV (freeview channel 81). Anyone wishing to borrow a copy of the DVD should email Rye News.

Photos: Tony McLaughlin


  1. I wondered which pub was used for the exterior shots; thank you for solving the mystery! The film is available on DVD from Amazon, I obtained a copy just before “talking Pictures” came into being.
    Another old film of interest is “The Dark Man”, of similar vintage, featuring shots of Dungeness in pre-nuclear days; also shown recently on “TP” and, again, available on Amazon.

  2. Talking Pictures is great for films like this- and as I remember the area fondly from my younger days I was particularly enjoying the film before I fell asleep (viewing in the insomnia slot!) so thanks for the tip!!


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