Friday, 17 July 2015

The Vyne

Earlier this week my dear Friend and I had a visit to the Vyne, a National Trust Property not too far from us. You can read about one of my previous visits to the Vyne here.

Friend and I both have NT membership and usually use it with our respective families, meaning that we never really get to look around the actual houses very much, as we are usually dealing with small ones running off, or older ones declaring they're bored. But this time we had no offspring in tow, it was just the two of us with cameras, chat, and a thirst for a good cuppa.

The Vyne, and by that I mean the house itself, dates back to Tudor times (1600's), although it has had many changes since - you can read a bit more of its history here.

The house is set before a lovely ornamental lake - you can just see the house peeping through on left in the picture above. The Trust have very thoughtfully provided loads of "proper" deckchairs - we decided next time we will bring a proper picnic in a proper picnic hamper :)

The Canadian geese looked a bit hungry, so we didn't hang around as we had no food for them ....

The grounds are beautiful, as you would expect in any NT maintained property :)

We had a very leisurely stroll followed by a cream tea - yum! (For my friends overseas a "cream tea" means a scone with jam and clotted cream (naughty!) and a pot of tea with which to wash it down :)

Next to the tea-room is the shop, I loved these metallic garden ornaments ....

Fortified with tea and scones we went for a mooch around the house. I wasn't able to get many good photographs as flash photography is not allowed, but here are a few that I did manage. I loved how the rooms are all interconnected, you can see the full length of the house looking down through the doorways.

In one of the rooms there was a pianist playing, how lovely!

I spotted this beautiful embroidery on the covering of a chair ....

My favourite part of the house was the Chapel. The Chapel itself was only used by the priest and the choir - the members of the household could join in the service from a raised gallery which was screened off, and the the staff of the house had to sit in a different room altogether. In the Chapel there is some fabulous stained glass which dates back to the 1600's.

The top panels all depict religious images, the bottom panels are of Tudor scenes - of King Henry VIII and various wives. Only one tiny area has been replaced, the rest is original, yes that means it's been there for 400 years. 400 YEARS ! I find that absolutely staggering.

On the floor, in front of where the choir would sit, is some amazing mosaic tiling - it is believed to be Roman ....

My next favourite bit of the house was a series of small rooms that the NT have turned into one of their famed second-hand bookshops. What is it about a bookshop - I could spend hours and hours and hours browsing around, I think its the randomness, you never know when you will find just the right book. I loved how they had the main bookshop, and then "more books" ....

Actually there was another room with all the "yet-to-be-sorted" books, where there were a couple of staff members sorting out what I assume were boxes of donated books. Oh my word, I would have LOVED to have been let loose in there! Anyway I managed to find 3 paperbacks which I will probably take on holidays, and there was a 3 for 2 offer so they cost me £2 total - oooooh I love a good bargain.

Back outside we spotted the same tree that I'd noticed on my previous visit ....

Apparently this tree has stood for quite some time - during the time of Trafalgar (early 1800's), the then owner of the house, William Chute, was offered 100 pounds and then 100 guineas for the tree for timber (presumably for ships), he refused both offers and the tree still stands. A mere 200-plus years old! Look at that crazy angle at which its leaning, its amazing it can hold itself up.

We also had a peek inside the summerhouse. This would have been used as a shelter from which to admire the garden, or as a cosy place to retreat to after dinner, and in more recent times (1800's) it was used as a dovecote. The timbers in the roof have been dated back to the 1600's so it too has been standing a very long time.

There's a flowerbed close by which reflects the shape of the summerhouse ....

.... the pink flowers are geraniums ... imagine planting all of those!!!

We wended our way back dwon the tree-lined path, and onwards home after a very relaxing and reviving day :)

I'll be posting with crochet updates over the weekend, til then byeeeeeeeee



  1. What a lovely day, and time to explore it all with a lovely friend. By the way I hunk Greek day went splendidly in your last post.

  2. You took us on a lovely tour, loved the stained glass window and the roman floor. What a bargain on the books. I wouldn't have been able to resist the cream tea either.

  3. I love that you got a whole day to yourself! What a great way to spend time with a friend. The house looks fascinating. I would have spent hours in the bookshop too. Love the garden, and that great bank of lavender. X

  4. Good old National Trust, where would we be without it? :-)

  5. What a terrific tour! I really enjoyed it too, thanks :-). We would definately be members too if we lived in Great Britain. Love to visit all those places! Love from Mirjam.

  6. I haven't been to The Vyne for ages, but it is a good house to visit isn't it! I love those metal garden ornaments, I have to avoid the shop because of them! xx

  7. Thank you for your comment on my blog, it was so good to read you knew what it was like to have a fractured bone and not be able to use your right hand.. have loved reading your blog what beautiful crochet work and such a lot of it. I have really missed my craft work, but once this arm is good enough to stitch, or sew or knit or crochet I will be staying up all night to enjoy it all again. This looks a great place to visit and some fantastic pics.

  8. It looks like you had a lovely visit. My husband & I have a couple of property's to re visit this summer by ourselves. I'm always on edge with a couple of younger teenagers displaying their boredom in a room full of precious objects x

  9. I really like the gardens at these estates - so many flowers! We don't have such estates here in Germany or at least not that many, which is a pity.

    Take care
    Crochet Between Worlds

  10. I love the system you have of the National Trust properties - Amy (from love made my home) explained to me how it works, we don't have such an organization here in Belgium, so many old estates stay in private ownership, and often the owners don't have the funds anymore to maintain the property..
    And thanks for explaining cream tea - now I know what to order next time in England :-))))... Boy, do I love English scones...

  11. It looks like you enjoyed a relaxing visit to such a beautiful old place, and a cream tea too! Perfect :)
    Cathy x

  12. Such a beautiful property and lovely photos! I would never get anything done if I lived over there. I'd just keep going from one gorgeous property to the next! What a lovely blessing that I have wonderful blogger Friends like you to share them so I can admire from afar. Thanks for that dear Jill! xoxo


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