Tudor stained glass conserved for centuries to come
In February 2016, we welcomed back one of our most beautiful attractions following months of ground-breaking conservation work. You can enjoy the exquisite Tudor stained glass once again.
Our chapel’s stained glass is the finest in the National Trust’s care and considered to be among the most beautiful 16th-century glass in Europe. It features King Henry VIII, who visited The Vyne several times, as well as his sister Margaret and first wife Catherine of Aragon, together with their patron saints.
When condensation gradually began to eat away at the windows, causing pitting and corrosion, the glass was removed for conservation and re-fitted with state-of-the-art protective glazing by specialists Holy Well Glass.
The rare panes of glass, known as ‘lights’, have returned to The Vyne once more. The last light featuring Henry VIII was reinstalled on Tuesday 9 February 2016.
The story behind the glass
The stained glass windows were commissioned sometime before 1533 and are believed to have originally been created for the nearby Holy Ghost Chapel. During conservation work, numerous makers marks were found suggesting that it was created in a workshop by a number of talented glaziers.
At some point, possibly to protect it from ransacking Roundheads during the Civil War, the glass was removed and hidden, later re-appearing in the chapel at The Vyne.
Among the scenes depicted is an image of a young King Henry VIII. He stayed at the house on several occasions, first with Catherine of Aragon and later with Anne Boleyn, as the guest of William Sandys, his Lord Chamberlain.
Another window depicts Catherine of Aragon and a third shows Henry's sister, Margaret, who married James IV of Scotland when she was just 13 years old.