The Vyne  

On a beautiful autumn morning just thirty members set off to Hampshire to visit this splendid, recently re-opened National Trust property.  "One house, two families, five hundred years of history", to quote our witty, enthusiastic guide.  Beginning life as a mediaeval manor house , the Vyne was expanded by William Sandys, Lord Chamberlain to Henry VIII, into a Tudor palace befitting a courtier. At its height the Vyne played host to Henry VIII, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth I.  The Civil War changed the Sandys family fortunes, they backed the wrong side, resulting in the sale of the estate to Chaloner Chute, Speaker to Parliament, in 1653.  The Vyne Estate was passed down through the Chute family until it was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1956.  

The roof of the house underwent a two-year-long, £5.4 million restoration project before the house was fully re-opened in October 2018.  We saw the staterooms exquisitely decorated and furnished in several styles spanning the centuries of the house's existence. First we had a brief, very informative tour of the house and then we were given passes to go back later at our leisure to look more closely at whatever interested us. All the volunteer guides were very helpful and keen to share their extensive knowledge.  

After a pleasant, light lunch at the cafe in the courtyard many of us browsed the beautiful formal gardens and landscaped estate.  A thoroughly enjoyable day out for us all. Our thanks go to Angela Petrou for organising this trip, her 'maiden voyage' as an outings organiser

Jean Frost