Christmas candlelit tours at The Vyne
After the hubbub of daytime visitors has died down, join us for an intimate tour of the house by artificial candlelight. Take in the ground floor of the mansion decorated for a Victorian Christmas, as well as five first floor rooms usually closed at this time. At the end, indulge in a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie in the servants' quarters. Tours run at 4-5.30pm and 4.30-6pm on 3,5,11,13,17&19 December.
Telling the tale of A Christmas Carol, you can take a look around the ground floor of The Vyne’s mansion which will be richly decorated for a Victorian Christmas. Stepping into the theatrical staircase hall, with its ornate 18th-century plasterwork, you’ll be greeted by a flurry of paper roses cascading from the banisters above.
On entering the Large Drawing Room, with its crimson brocatelle wall hangings, your journey through Charles Dicken’s Christmas story begins:
The story of A Christmas Carol
The book follows the mean and meagre existence of iconic character Ebenezer Scrooge. Visited one Christmas Eve night by the spirit of his dead business partner, Scrooge is warned that unless he changes his ways, he shall be punished when he dies.
As a last chance of redemption, he is to be visited by three ghosts; the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future who take him on a soul-searching journey through time.
In the end, Scrooge learns the error of his ways and turns over a new leaf. Becoming generous and jovial, Scrooge heads out to join his family at a Christmas gathering he had previously refused to attend. He also orders a large goose for his overworked clerk Bob Cratchit and his family.
Your route through the mansion
In the Further Drawing Room, silhouettes, sparkling light and shadow represent the Ghost of Christmas Past who takes Scrooge back in time to remember how he used to be.
In the Stone Gallery, garlands and greenery heartily interpret the Ghost of Christmas present. Classical busts look out from the walls onto a scene that looks like a merry party has been underway.
From the expansive Stone Gallery, you’ll wander into the intimate space of The Study. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear the Thomas Tompion clock chime and spot a Tudor squint concealed within the oak panelling.
At this point, the tour abandons the normal winter visitor route. Returning to the staircase hall, you’ll ascend the grand staircase and explore five rooms on the first floor, which are usually closed to visitors at this time.
After traversing two bedrooms, you’ll find yourself in the Oak Gallery which is celebrated for its 16th-century wood carvings.
A wander through the Tapestry Room will bring you to the library, where 2500 historic volumes are being meticulously cleaned and condition-checked before returning to the shelves.
Descending the main staircase once more, you’ll take a left into the Saloon where the story of A Christmas Carol resumes.
With sense of darkness and foreboding, this room represents the Ghost of Christmas Future. At this point in the story, the main character, Scrooge is forced to consider his future should he fail to mend his ways.
Stepping into the Dining Parlour with its linen-fold oak panelling and historic oil paintings, Scrooge is a changed person; you’ll find the table lavishly laid ready for a festive banquet to be enjoyed by Scrooge and his relatives.
Wandering past a hidden Tudor gem, you can take the opportunity to step into The Vyne’s pre-Reformation chapel featuring Flemish stained-glass windows.
The jovial festive spirit continues into the servants’ quarters where the old kitchen, with its flagstone floor and vast empty fireplaces, represents the Cratchits’ house with the table laid ready for dinner.
Here, you can indulge in a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine.
£35pp. Booking essential on 01256 883858.