Exploring the house at The Vyne

Stained glass windows at The Vyne's chapel with sunlight shining through

The unique sound of a Tudor Lady Mass is just one of the experiences you can discover at The Vyne in Hampshire. As the former Tudor ‘power house’ begins a transformation after a £5.4 million roof project, we’re shining a spotlight on fascinating stories from its 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.

In the old kitchen, illustrations and text panels explore the political reasons behind Henry’s visit here, and the magnificent pomp and ceremony that surrounded it.

Large screens depict scenes of moving tapestries
Close up of tapestries scene
Large screens depict scenes of moving tapestries

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.’

The Dining Parlour table at The Vyne
A photo of the Dining Parlour table
The Dining Parlour table at The Vyne

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.