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Rye Landgate: Only Surviving Fortified Entrance To Rye

Rye Landgate stands as a testament to the town’s rich history and enduring resilience. Erected over 680 years ago during the reign of King Edward III, this iconic structure remains in use today as the sole vehicular entry point into Rye’s medieval center. Despite the passage of time, it retains much of its original form, serving as a tangible link to the town’s fortified past.

Rye itself holds a significant place in English history, its strategic location at the confluence of three rivers making it a vital hub for trade and commerce since Roman times. As a member of the Cinque Ports Confederation, Rye played a crucial role in safeguarding England’s maritime interests, its defenses bolstered by landmarks like the Landgate.

The town’s prosperity, however, was not without its challenges. Over the centuries, Rye faced numerous invasions and attacks, including devastating assaults by the French in the 14th century that left much of the town in ruins. Yet, Rye’s resilience shone through, its inhabitants rebuilding and fortifying their defenses against future threats.

The decline of Rye’s maritime trade in later centuries led to shifts in its economy, with smuggling becoming a prominent activity along its shores. Groups like the infamous Hawkhurst Gang, who met at The Mermaid Inn, engaged in illicit activities, evading authorities and adding a layer of intrigue to Rye’s storied past.

Despite its tumultuous history, Rye today stands as a picturesque destination for visitors, its charming streets and historic buildings offering a glimpse into England’s past. Landmarks like Mermaid Street and Rye Castle Museum draw tourists from near and far, providing opportunities to explore the town’s rich heritage and cultural significance.

For those seeking to immerse themselves in Rye’s history, a visit to landmarks like Ypres Tower and The Mermaid Inn offers insight into the town’s medieval origins and its enduring legacy. And with glowing reviews on TripAdvisor, it’s clear that Rye continues to captivate and enchant visitors with its timeless allure.

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