J. L. DEACON F. R. Hist. S. printed the first edition his his amazing “Ancient Rye” early in the 20th. century, the fifth edition hit the bookstands in 1927 and contains this great picture of the Landgate in Georgian times. His description, mirrored in our heading, was designed to catch the eye but he was a serious historian as well as a printer, publisher and bookseller. His shop was what is now the Martello Bookshop and he also owned a property round the corner in market road where his print shop was situated.
Deacon’s book, or guide as some call it, is packed with information and pictures of Rye. Some, like the one on the right, by great artists. Turner painted several pictures of the town.
There are other interesting tit-bits, Charles Dickens in an article “The Gardens of Rye” gives an interesting account of his visit to one of the flower shows held at Mountfield.
Deadman’s Lane was named, as tradition would have it, because there was a battle fought in the Kingsfield above and the dead bodies were buried in the Lane. Deacon goes on to say “It forms part of a favourite walk of the inhabitants”. Alas this walk has been taken away from Ryers because the Lane, with no modernisation or widening, now forms the main road from London into Rye.
Deacon records that the Town Salts was embanked in 1834 and the Corporation, in that year, appropriated it for ever for the FREE use of the inhabitants as a recreation ground. What would Deacon think of Rother District Council one wonders, they even charge the Bonfire Boys for it’s use on Bonfire Night!
From “Rye’s Own “ October 2005
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