Ypres Tower

(Baddings Tower)


In the years following the Norman Conquest of 1066, Rye grew in importance as a port and trading centre. It remained in the ownership of the Abbey, and all went well until 1205, when King John (r. 1199 - 1216) was forced to give Normandy to Phillip of France, thus placing Rye under the heel of a foreign master. After the signing of the Magna Carta in 1216, his still-disillusioned barons wished to be rid of this tiresome king and invited Louis, the French Dauphin, to England to claim the throne. The king immediately took Rye and other towns into his possession, but when Louis landed in the port he was able to capture it with ease. When John died in the autumn, it was left to the loyal supporters of the new boy-king, Henry III (r. 1216 - 72), to restore order. Louis was defeated and returned home. With Rye now held by its rightful king, the order was given for a fortress to be built. Baddings Tower (known as Ypres Tower since the 14th century) is the result, although quite when it was begun is unknown.
excerpt from
Rye and the Cinque Ports

06 July 2001


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