History and heavenly bodies.
When you arrive at Jeake’s House, have a look at the plaque, high on the wall.
The inscription reads: ‘AT MID-DAY ON JUNE 13, 1689, THE FOUNDATION OF THIS WAREHOUSE WAS LAYED, THE HEAVENLY BODIES BEING IN THESE POSITIONS.
Samuel Jeake, a successful merchant, was a strict Puritan who sought God’s guidance on every detail of his life; but incongruously, he also believed in astrology – hence the plaque.
Now a single property, the buildings that make up Jeake’s House have been a wool store, a school, a chapel, and the Baptist minister’s residence.
Its many famous visitors have included the Quaker prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, and the writers E.F. Benson, T.S. Eliot, Malcolm Lowry, John Burke, and Radclyffe Hall.
Nearby is the property where artist Paul Nash lived, and Lamb House, the home variously of Henry James and E.F. Benson, who penned the ‘Mapp and Lucia’ novels, set in a fictionalised version of Rye called Tilling.