Summer house - The Vyne

Summerhouse at The Vyne

The Vyne library

The Vyne library

The Vyne is a 16th-century country house outside Sherborne St John near Basingstoke in Hampshire, England. The Vyne was built in the early 16th century by William Sandys, later Lord Sandys of the Vyne, who was Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain. Henry VIII visited the house several times and Elizabeth I was also a visitor. During the Civil War the house was a Parliamentarian stronghold. However, that struggle reduced the family's fortune considerably and the 6th Lord Sandys was forced to sell the house in 1653 and retreat to his other home at Mottisfont Abbey.


The Vyne was bought by Chaloner Chute a wealthy barrister who later became a Member of Parliament and Speaker of the House. He carried out various alterations to the house before his death in 1659 including adding the portico. This was probably designed by John Webb and when it was added in 1654 was the first of its kind in England. Chaloner Chute's grandson Edward was responsible for the collection of Soho tapestries and Queen Ann furniture on display in the house. Edward's son John designed the magnificent Paladian Staircase Hall. He was a friend of Horace Walpole and the Strawberry Parlour was named after Walpole's house Strawberry Hill. This room was reserved for Walpole's use on his visits to The Vyne and today it displays drawings and prints relating to the two friends.


The whole of the ground floor of the west wing is taken up by the Stone Gallery which contains a collection of busts and statues. The Further Drawing Room has a fine plaster ceiling. The Ante Room houses a collection of porcelain and china and the Large Drawing Room has a carved fireplace painted to imitate stone. The Dining Room retains the original Elizabethan wood panelling. The Tudor Chapel, with its Renaissance glass, is one of the most perfect private chapels in England. In around 1770 John Chute built the tomb chamber as a memorial to his ancestor Chaloner Chute. The house remained in the Chute family until it was bequeathed to the National Trust by Sir Charles Chute who died in 1956. In the grounds wide lawns stretch down from the house to a lake. The beautiful gardens contain herbaceous borders, a wild garden, lawns, lakes and woodland walks.


An intimate family home, the history of The Vyne spans the centuries. From its royal beginnings in Tudor times to its place today as a intriguing retreat for you to explore, you can lose yourself in the surroundings that inspired great authors such as Jane Austen. Discover a chapel where sunlight streams in through stained-glass windows, a ring that may have inspired Tolkien or an oak gallery fit for a king.


Parking for disabled visitors. Accessible toilets close to visitor reception and tea-room. Level entrance to house. Ground-floor wheelchair accessible. Photo album of second floor available in house reception. No handrails on stairs - please take care on the staircase. Gravel and hard paths through gardens and woodlands. Manual wheelchairs available from visitor entrance. The paths in the grounds are relatively flat and well-marked making them good for wheelchairs and buggies but after heavy rain they can become muddy. For those who have walking difficulties, between March and October they run a buggy service from Visitor Reception to a point close to both the house and the Brewhouse tea-room. This covers a distance of one third of a mile. Dogs on leads welcome in Gardens, Parkland and Woods. Dogs not allowed In buildings, walled garden and Hidden Realm play area. Assistance dogs welcome everywhere. Guided tours for groups available - please contact them before you travel. Free entry for carers. Until 31 October and then from 6 December 2016: Monday to Friday there are guided house tours at 11 & 11:30 which are subject to volunteer availability. Timed tickets then run from 12 until 3 (last ticket 2:30-3). Weekend house entry is by timed ticket from 11-3 (last ticket 2:30-3) No tours. Between 31 October and 5 December inclusive: Monday to Friday, access to the house will be via guided tour only. These run every half hour between 11am and 3pm. Weekend house entry is by timed ticket from 11-3 (last ticket 2:30-3). No tours. Limited tickets are available on arrival on a first-come-first-served basis. Shop opens at 11. Last entrance to Tea-room is 4:30 and grounds 4pm.


Location : Vyne Road, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9HL

Transport : Bramley (National Rail) then 2.5 miles OR Basingstoke (National Rail) then taxi (4 miles). Bus Routes : No bus service.

Opening Times : Daily 12:00 to 16:00

Tickets : Adults £11.75;   Children £5.90

Tickets Gardens Only : Adults £7.20;   Children £3.60

Tel. : 01256 883858