All change at Number 3

This empty shop in Landgate has had quite a journey.

Many of Rye’s more shall we say ‘established’ residents will remember Burnham builders who had their company office at 3 Landgate and their yard between Eagle Road and Landgate, now a popular residential development. Burnham were one of the early occupants of 3 Landgate and since leaving, the premises has had a number of tenants over the years and now, it is vacant once more, ready for a new business.

The Burnham name plate in the photograph was discovered behind the old fascia during a refurbishment when estate agents Foxwood Maclean took over the ground floor of the building in 2014. They had taken the business over from Calcutt Maclean Standen who had been there for some time.

Burnham the builders’ former office at 3 Landgate. Their yard was just around the corner.

During their tenure they sold the business to another firm of estate agents, Humberts – the national chain who also acquired their offices in Cranbrook and Wye as well as their fine arts business. The acquisition did not go well and the business was bought back by the then newly reformed business, Calcutt Maclean Wood, who eventually rebranded themselves Foxwood Maclean – incorporating Mulberry Cottages, a specialist holiday cottage letting agency.

The Foxwood Maclean office as it was, in 2014

When Foxwood Maclean closed their Rye branch the building was vacant for some time, other than the upper floors, which were occupied by a long standing firm of architects. The ground floor was then let to Pale & Interesting who were trading there until recently when the shop became vacant once more.

Pale and Interesting, as it was until recently.

The upper floors of 3 Landgate have consent for conversion from offices to a residential dwelling so change is inevitable, but it will also be interesting to see who the next occupant of the shop will be. Watch this space.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .


  1. Interesting to read Nick formans post on 3 Landgate,and too most Ryers that have lived here more than 10 minutes, that part of town is known as Kings street, this used to be one of Ryes busiest streets not so long ago, with a whole array of interesting shops, sadly i do hope this shop doesn’t end up like others down there,Soulless shop fronts with net curtains, most resembling undertaker parlours.

  2. Though, it’s perhaps also worth noting that the King’s St you mention does not now appear on any contemporary map of Rye. As a visitor, if you punched it into your sat nav, you wouldn’t find it. But maybe that’s the point, eh, John?
    NB: For Rye residents of more of less than ‘ten minutes’, please note it’s now “Landgate”, as NF correctly states.

  3. Since we’re now quibbling about abstract possessives, let me just say this about possession more broadly: all we ‘own’ in this life are our memories. We’re custodians of everything else. The same is true of Rye, and to be clear, that’s what I found irksome about John’s comment. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived here for ten generations or John’s “ten minutes”. What matters is that we’re decent citizens of this fabulous town. None of us owns it or is more entitled to love it.
    Moreover, this slightly Royston-Vasey (Ryeston Vasey???) attitude to newcomers is not only dull, it isn’t actually at all representative of Rye. In the ten years I’ve enjoyed living my life here, I’ve never once experienced any hostility bcs I’ve lived here ‘ten minutes’. People are warm, funny, friendly and welcoming. They don’t go round muttering in dialect and giving one another secret handshakes as they curse the outsiders. (Not as far as I know, anyway…)
    So, speaking as a ‘DFL’, John, all I can do is express my condolences and apologise for liking your town so much. I guess you’re a victim of your own success.

  4. I’ve lived in Rye just over 10 minutes and my Mum and Dad even longer and it was always Landgate.
    There was normally a prefix.
    Down Landgate.
    Up the High Street.
    Along Cinque Ports Street.
    Round the Strand.
    Down the Salts.
    Down the Mint.
    Over the yard, (Dads works)
    And many more.

  5. Yes GH, i have always spoken my mind,and sometimes maybe a bit outspoken , and i don’t expect everyone to like my posts, but one thing i will always do is print my name as i am not ashamed of my posts,and would never hide behind my keyboard like some.

  6. I love a healthy debate ! I’m with Tony, always been known to me as Landgate but as a long term resident I am aware that it is perhaps more correctly called King Street I’m with GH in so much as it doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived here – what counts is that you’re passionate about the town and ALL it’s residents and that you do your best to contribute. Finally I’m with John in that I really think full names should accompany comments. It’s blooming uncomfortable sitting here on the fence 😉

  7. Ah, there’s a good question, what is a local shop for local people?
    Rye is lucky to have a fantastic local shop for local people, run by local people, Jempson’s. That doesn’t stop local people complaining about it or complaining about not having a Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s, neither of which is “local”.
    Jempson’s provides an excellent service, including home delivery. It also supports local good causes and charities. It supports local suppliers; always has. Yes, it is possible to by cheaper at Lidl or Aldi but neither is local; save the fuel; planet, shop local. Oh, and local people complain that Jempson’s close on Sundays. Good on them. Let’s keep the faith and, by the way, there are shops at Tilling Green and at Skinner’s garage.
    Let’s hope that the new shop in Landgate adds something interesting and attractive!

  8. I must apologise to some, whether old Ryers, or newcomers to the town,that were unaware of the king street name, that they obviously thought i made up, of course out of the woodwork will come some. Its not on the ordnance map, nor is Little London, Fish gut alley, and probably the green steps, but all names that make up the charm of Rye, which will slowly be forgotten, sadly as years go by.

      • Dare i say krista, before getting shot down in flames, the passage between the Queens head, and what was once Pat higgins delicatessen shop in Landgate,or kings street or whatever one wishes to call it,was known as Little London, and the Green Steps run down opposite the Hope and Anchor to the strand Quay,i do believe,without trying to stir a hornets nest,for those who might disagree with me.

        • Do you mean the passage that goes from Queen’s Head down to Costcutter? I think it is now called 39 Steps. I dont remember the deli. Thank you!

        • Yes John, that is Little London. Used to ride the Trade Bikes from Dads Newsagent (No 21) up and down there to get to and from the back of our property before or after a long heavy paper round. When I was a little older the bikes were replaced with Mopeds & Motor Bikes, I aplogise now for any near misses, but back in the 70’s it really was a blast.

          • Thanks Gary for confirming the passage near your dads newsagents was known as Little london,before people start saying its not on the ordnance map, thanks also to Helge and Neil East,for confirming the real name of that part of town,and i am suprised more locals were unaware of it.And my apologies too others for the 10 minutes jibe,as we are all Ryer’s united in our enthusiasm for our town.

  9. I have always understood that King Street ran along the left of Landgate. The Royal British Legion Club, formed in the 1920s, was formally registered at King Street, I have seen old maps clearly showing King Street.

  10. This is all becoming an us and them page because someone dared to use the modern accepted name of a street.
    It all sounds like a “we know something you don’t” scenario, people moving to Rye are keen to embrace the town, want to be involved and want to learn the little quirks which all towns have.
    It seems odd that we are arguing about a little know street at one end of Rye when exactly the same happened twice to what is probably one of the most famous and photographed streets in England.
    During the times of the smugglers the Mermaid Inn (was it called that back then?) was in Middle Street which later became Strand Hill and only relatively recently in historical terms did it become Mermaid Street.
    So the next time a Japanese tourist asks you the way to Mermaid Street you can with all confidence reply, surely you mean Middle Street.

  11. I’ve often thought that the street is called Landgate seemingly after the structure at the top of it that gives entry through the town wall.
    In the north east of England many streets include ‘gate’ in the name – I’m thinking Gallowgate in Newcastle and Gillygate in York. And that is because of the Norse word for ‘street’ which is ‘gate’.
    Where there is a stone gate in York’s walls it is called a Bar, which is why you get Micklegate Bar.
    So could Landgate be the very old name of the road that crossed the thin isthmus connecting the so-called citadel and the mainland because it was the Land Street, possibly given to it by passing Norse invaders before William the Conqueror, or by the Normans of 1066, who were, after all, realatively recent Norse invaders of northern France?
    So when the Town walls were started in 1329, the Tower that guarded the entrance to and from the pre-existing Landgate road became the Landgate Tower, while just up what is now Cinque Ports Street the Postern Gate (two words) was so named as ‘gate’ had taken on a new meaning in the south of England, and the idea of a Landgate Gate was absurd and no-one had thought of the concept of ‘so good they named it twice’!

  12. It’s a Rug Shop so we’re be all ok for a Rug or Two, that’s two rug shops in Rye unless the original rug shop is moving.
    Does Rye need two Rug Shops ? Are rug shops now like coffee shops. Does Rye need two of anything, wouldn’t Rye be empty if we only allowed one shop of one variety.
    What will the old rug shop be, maybe it will be something useful now what could that be…….

    • As noticed, it is now a rug shop. The one in Market Road is still there and there are now more rugs where Anderson Hacking used to be. Three rug shops does seem a bit excessive.

      • 3 rug shops may seem excessive but what is better for the town, 3 rug shops or 1 rug shop and 2 potentially empty shops in the town which is already looking rather vacant at the moment? Good luck to the new business going into number 3 Landgate.

  13. I briefly stayed and worked in Rye at Broomhill lodge in the eighties
    I’m sure I shopped in the shop mentioned if it was ever an antique shop but my memory could be playing tricks
    Fell in love with Rye and would love to visit again one day
    I also cared for an elderly lady at Broomhill who lived in a cottage I’m sure opposite a grave yard and she was an ex ballerina, I can’t remember her name but she was in her 90s in 1983 and she was then transferred to a private rest home / hospital that was a huge Georgian style mansion I’m not sure if it was outskirts of ‘Peasmarsh’ really wish I could remember her name but I vividly remember the rest home .
    Apologies for going ‘ off topic’.
    Kind regards

  14. May I please add another layer to this little discussion? I was always told that a Ryer had to be born in Rye, simple as that. Although I’ve lived here nearly 50 years on and off, I could never be a Ryer. Our three eldest children were born in hospital in Hastings but our youngest son was born at home in the town, so he’s the only true Ryer in the family. Is that correct or could length of residence (and generations back) count?

  15. Now you’re really treading a dodgy path down the road to them and us.
    If you read the local mags etc you’ll see that many well connected people buy a home in the citadel after retirment, they have time on their hands and join the various committees and often join the council, on passing away you will read accolades on the good they’ve done and are sometimes described as true Ryers.
    On the other hand many Ryers never do a thing for the town and pass away unnoticed and without ceremony.
    You can’t choose where your born and being a true Ryer is inherited, I would be more than happy for all your children to claim to being Ryers, being born in a maternity unit in the main hospital is splitting hairs IMHO
    Rye would never have survived if it had to rely on locals, times are changing and Rye needs to change with them, quaint little shops are all very well but can’t support its residents in the day to day living that normal working people do.

  16. Hear! Hear! Well said, Tony.
    I should say, I don’t actually disagree with John at all on the subject of heritage, tradition and folk memory. I think it’s as important as he evidently does. I differ only in how to preserve those threads of history and to maintain Rye’s special essence. In a small, idiosyncratic town within spitting distance of dominating cultural hubs like Hastings and London, it’s hugely important. People like John are actually custodians of those memories. The trouble is, if those memories become some sort of exclusive currency to foster distinction between ‘old’ and ‘new’ Rye, they will just die. They’ll be tainted with that air of carping, grudging hostility, and they won’t be appealing to anyone. It’s just human nature. To preserve anything, you have to share it and make it understood. Otherwise newcomers can’t appreciate the value. So rather than going to the effort of pointing out in curmudgeonly and condemnatory fashion an alleged mistake by Nick Forman (he was absolutely right that today it’s Landgate), why not remind people of Rye’s history in a slightly less ‘sectarian’ way? I, for one, would be fascinated by your memories, John. (Having said that, I can also highly recommend the present and, dare I say, the future…)

  17. Many thanks to Rye News for giving us all an opportunity to relive our memories of Rye some while ago. When I first came to Rye, in 1956, Rye Lodge was the Rye Collegiate School which was owned and run by Rainald and Dorothy Wells who took it on when Mrs. Longley and Miss Moon retired. It was not only a thriving preparatory school, but a busy family home with 6 children in residence. Sadly, Rainald was killed in the Hither Green train crash of 1957. Dorothy continued as Headmistress for some years before selling to Mrs. and Mrs. Preece who, in their turn sold to the Paine family from Brookland on the Marsh. Eventually, it was bought by Kevin and Jean de Courcy and the school became a hotel.
    I remember too that Mr and Mrs Horner owned a newsagent’s in the Landgate, beside the grocery shop run by Pat Higgins and her mother. Mr. Horner was at one time Mayor of Rye.


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