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Things to do in The Vyne house

Toys from times gone by are displayed in front of a red sofa next to a sparkling Christmas tree
Follow the story of The Nutcracker on a festive ground-floor adventure through the house. | © National Trust / Virginia Langer

This Christmas, the curtain rises on The Nutcracker as you explore the luxuriously decorated ground floor of the house at The Vyne. Following heroes Clara and the Nutcracker as they defeat the villainous Mouse King, you’ll encounter plucky gingerbread men, pirouetting snowflakes and see a sumptuous banquet in the ‘Land of Sweets’. House ground floor open daily 11am-3pm until 1 January 2024. Subject to volunteer availability. Closed 24 and 25 December.

Successfully conserved: The Vyne's leather screen

Back on display following painstaking conservation, gaze up at an 18th-century leather screen festooned with 24 romantic scenes. Once damaged and in poor condition, conservators rescued this treasure at the Royal Oak Conservation Studio based at Knole.

A gentlemen kneels beside a seated lady with his right hand in hers.
An 18th-century oil-painted scene after artist Jean-Antoine Watteau. | © National Trust / Karen Legg

Taking a closer look

Depicting 24 elegantly dressed couples engaging in ‘frivolous pursuits’ in rural settings, the oil-painted screen was almost slashed during a children’s sword fight in the fifties and became degraded under centuries of accumulated dirt and tears. You can see the screen for yourself, explore the origins of artist Jean-Antoine Watteau’s inspiration for the design and learn about the conservation of this treasure in a display room on the first floor of the house.

Curator's choice: must-sees at The Vyne 

Whether you want to see the house’s surviving examples of Tudor craftsmanship or admire the exquisite taste of John Chute, here are four key things to look out for.

A pair of Lattimo plates depicting Italian cities, in the Ante Room at The Vyne, Hampshire
A pair of Lattimo plates depicting Italian cities, in the Ante Room at The Vyne | © National Trust Images

Venetian lattimo glass plates

In July 1741 John Chute and his friends commissioned these hand-made plates while visiting Venice. In a time before photography, these decorative souvenirs were a way of displaying their visit, featuring different painted views of the city. Made using a technique named lattimo, tin oxide was added to the glass to give it a white appearance. The images were copied from paintings and engravings. What really makes this set special is its survival. The sets belonging to John’s friends Walpole and Pelham-Clinton were sold after their deaths and are now dispersed. The Vyne is the only place where you can see a large, intact set of these plates (16 of the original 24 survive) which are still displayed in the cabinets made for them in the 19th Century.

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Close up detail of the 16th-century stained glass window in the Chapel at the Vyne, Hampshire

Discover more at The Vyne

Find out when The Vyne is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.

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Lake with swans and fringed by trees with orange and red late autumn foliage, The Vyne, Hampshire

Things to do in the garden at The Vyne 

Discover what to see and do in the garden all year round at The Vyne. Explore the historic summerhouse, see what’s growing in the walled garden and take a walk by the lake.

Close up detail of the 16th-century stained glass window in the Chapel at the Vyne, Hampshire

History of The Vyne 

Discover centuries of history at The Vyne. Explore the people who shaped the estate, its royal connections to Tudor monarchs and its wartime role.