Rye (Derivation (by stages) from OE; dry ground in the marsh) is a town on a hill in East Sussex beside the River Rother, these days inland, but once a thriving seaport, one of the two Cinque Ports added (with Winchelsea) to the original five in the first half of the 14th century. Like so many other coastal places in England, its harbour silted up during the 16th century. It is a place of great popularity for its cobbled streets and buildings that speak of its now lost importance.
The American writer Henry James lived there for the last 18 years of his life and wrote fondly of it.
Reference: "Brewer’s Britain and Ireland"