Exploring the house at The Vyne
This former Tudor ‘power house’ is almost at the end of its transformation after a £5.4 million roof project. During August discover four of the mansion’s ground floor rooms; here you will have the opportunity to listen to the unique sound of a Tudor Lady Mass in the Tudor Chapel. From September explore the house fully open with rooms which have never been opened to the public before.
We’re now shining a spotlight on fascinating stories from The Vyne's past. One of these moments is the visit of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn to The Vyne in October 1535. Our famous 16th-century chapel is immersed in the authentic sounds of a Tudor Mass, as Henry VIII himself may have heard it on this occasion.
Doctor Lucy Kaufman, an early history scholar at Keble College, Oxford, worked with The Vyne to research the story:
'This Progress happens at the moment of the initial Reformation. Henry leaves London just after he's had Sir Thomas More executed for refusing to say that the king is the head of the church.
This 1535 Progress was an opportunity for Henry to cement what we’d now call a ‘Protestant’ loyalty amongst his most powerful and wealthy subjects. This included William Sandys – owner of The Vyne and Henry’s Lord Chamberlain. It was also a chance for Henry to be seen with his controversial queen, Anne Boleyn, and to assert his new role - as Supreme Head of the Church.’
In the dining parlour you’ll find beautiful furnishings, props and audio which tell another intriguing story. They reflect the life and belongings of William Wiggett Chute and his family.
This unusual Victorian gentleman succeeded to The Vyne in 1842 but with little money to support it. The estate was in great disrepair, but Wiggett Chute and his family were determined to save it.
They poured the family’s money into repairing the house, and in doing so, secured its future, but the huge cost left them unable to entertain or socialise.
Important note: Not all of our collection is on display all the time; if you would like to see a particular item, please call us in advance on 01256 883858 so that we can arrange this for you.
Behind the scenes
The Vyne is preparing to launch a new house layout from September. The team have been carefully relocating items of the collection to recreate the layout as it would have been from 1842 to 1879 when Wiggett Chute and his family lived at The Vyne.
The team have also been meticulously cleaning areas such as the nationally renowned Palladian staircase hall. The fragile plasterwork which dates from the 18th century was cleaned using cotton swabs.
More information on the new layout will be available soon.