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Mermaid Inn

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East Sussex - Rye

One star - A pub interior of special national historic interest

Listed Status: II

Mermaid Street
TN31 7EY

Tel: (01797) 223065

Email: info@mermaidinn.com

Website http://www.mermaidinn.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/themermaidinnrye

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Nearby Station: Rye (Sussex)

Station Distance: 300m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Rye (East Sussex)) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

One of the oldest and finest genuine inns in England, the Mermaid was rebuilt in 1420 and has a 13th century stone vaulted cellar. As licensed premises, it has a complex recent history and was not allowed to install a bar until 1955. The present counter of rough-hewn overlapping planks with a wooden top may well date from then' as might the lower shelves behind but the rest of the bar-back looks more recent. The splendid room it occupies has old wall panelling and the 'Giant's Fireplace' which dates back to Tudor times.
One of the oldest and finest genuine inns in England which was rebuilt in 1420 and has a 13th century stone vaulted cellar. It is situated on Mermaid Street, a cobbled street in the splendid historic small town of Rye. It was run as a club from 1913 and reopened as an hotel in 1945. The inn operated without a full license from 1758 to 1955 with the True Temperance Association having an impact on this. When in 1948 it was granted a full license the inn was not allowed to install a bar and it closed again in 1949.

In 1955 the bar restriction was removed and the lounge bar at the rear has a counter of rough hewn timber overlapping planks and a wooden top that looks like it could date from c.1955. It is difficult to accurately date the bar back fittings but the lower shelves may date from the 1950s. This splendid room has old wall panelling and the Giant's fireplace with its log fire date back to Tudor times.

There is much else to admire in the building including a carved oak screen, inglenook fireplace, three ancient wall paintings, genuine beams, half timbered walls and ancient doors. From the front door a partitioned passage with Tudor panelling and ancient wall paintings leads to the public bar at the rear. To the left of passage is Dr Syn's Chamber, one of two lounges for use by residents and diners only. It has a Tudor shaped stone carved fireplace and the front right lounge has more ancient wall panelling. The main dining room has ancient panelling and two Tudor arch shaped stone fireplaces. There are other rooms of character - it is a pity there is some opening-up in the centre of the hotel. In 1982 the Mermaid held a private luncheon party for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother , the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports.

Historical information on this and other Rye pubs from 'The Pubs of Rye' East Sussex 1750-1950 by David Russell (2012) Published by Lynda Russell ISBN 9780956291745
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