Brief history of the house at The Vyne

A print from the Strawberry Parlour at The Vyne, Basingstoke, Hampshire

The Vyne in Hampshire has been home to lords and ladies for five centuries. Over the years it's been visited by Tudor kings, been lived in by a Speaker for the House of Commons and sheltered in by Second World War evacuees. Read on for the brief history.

The Vyne, near Sherborne St John, was transformed from a cluster of medieval buildings into a Tudor palace between 1500 and 1520. This was the work of William Sandys, who became Lord Chamberlain to King Henry VIII in 1526. Now approximately a third of its original size, The Vyne once extended as far as the lake and was described as ‘one of the Principale Houses in all Hamptonshire’.

After nearly being made destitute over the course of the English Civil War, in the 17th century, the sixth Lord Sandys sold The Vyne to Chaloner Chute, a barrister and the Speaker of the House of Commons.

It was Chaloner Chute who reduced the size of the building and modernised it, commissioning John Webb to add the classical portico in 1654; the first of its kind on a privately owned English country house.

The Chute family largely continued to own The Vyne well into the 20th century. In the 1920s a girls’ boarding school occupied it for a time. During the Second World War (1939-45) boys from Tormore School in Deal, Kent, were evacuated here.

On the death of Sir Charles Chute in 1956, The Vyne was bequeathed to the National Trust. Over the years the house and grounds have received thousands of visitors who have enjoyed walking along the lakeside and into nearby Morgaston Wood.