About The Vyne
The Vyne, near Sherborne St John, is a 16th century English historic house in Hampshire. It has been home to lords and ladies for 5 centuries, played host to guests including King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Horace Walpole, and Jane Austen, and even been sheltered in by World War Two evacuees.
History of The Vyne
The Vyne was transformed from a cluster of medieval buildings into a Tudor palace between 1500 and 1520 – built for William Sandys, who became Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlain in 1526. The house was described as ‘one of the Principale Houses in all Hamptonshire’.
After nearly becoming destitute during the English Civil War, in the 17th century, The Vyne later became the residence of the Chute family. Chaloner Chute, a barrister and the Speaker of the House of Commons, reduced the building to approximately a third of its original size, and modernised it, commissioning a classical portico in 1654 – the first of its kind in England.
The Chute family owned the residence up until the mid-20th century, continually developing and refurbishing it over the centuries. However, the house still includes elements of the original Tudor architecture.
The Vyne briefly housed a girls’ boarding school in the 1920s, and during the Second World War, boys from Tormore School in Deal, Kent, were evacuated here.
After Sir Charles Chute died in 1956, The Vyne was bequeathed to the National Trust, who opened the house and grounds up to the public to enjoy.
Interestingly, The Vyne holds an inscribed Roman ring as well as a lead tablet that speaks of a curse on the one who stole it. J. R. R. Tolkien was once asked to comment on it as an expert on Anglo-Saxon history, including its connection to a mine fabled to have been dug by dwarves. A few days after, he began writing Lord of the Rings.
The Vyne today
Today, The Vyne is a Grade 1 listed building, and continues to be owned and operated by the National Trust. Visitors to The Vyne can peruse its historic furniture collections, artwork, sculptures and adornments, which reflect the changing styles of the passing centuries. It is also possible to visit the 16th century Tudor chapel, once frequented by Henry VIII, as well as the galleries of the mansion.
As well as its historic house, The Vyne boasts charming gardens which include a lake, woodlands and wetlands, proving a big draw for visitors in the summer months – along with nearby Morgaston Wood.
Getting to The Vyne
The Vyne is located 4 miles north of Basingstoke, between Bramley and Sherborne St John. If arriving by car, entrance to the free visitor car park is on Morgaston Road.
The nearest stations to The Vyne are Basingstoke (4 miles), and Bramley (2½ miles – with involves a further walk of 2½ miles).
Follow in the footsteps of King Henry VIII, view the places where Henry left his mark on history and find fantastic historic sites to visit on your travels, includes interactive map.