Although this is a very short walk, it is a Houston Map paradise for the literary historian, not least because of the historic beauty of the town of Rye Houston Map where the walk is set. Looking at Rye now, it is difficult to imagine that during the Middle Ages this hilltop town, formerly a hill fort, was almost ringed by water, standing as it did on a promontory and being guarded by two estuaries close to their entry into the open sea. Formerly it was an important port, exporting iron and wool to the continent, and in the mid-fourteenth century it became one of the so-called Cinque Ports, providing ships for the English fleet.
A target for French aggression during the Hundred Years War, its fate as a port was sealed by silting, which left the town two miles inland. There are, however, numerous reminders of its prosperity: the town’s narrow streets are crammed with fine old houses, many weatherboarded, tilehung or timberframed. Arguably the town’s focal point is St Mary’s Church, the most intriguing features of which are the gilded cherubs who strike the bells of the tower clock.
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