Saturday, 24 June 2017

The Vine and The Vyne

I haven't been seen in Blogland since the beginning of the year so if any of my regular followers are still around I apologise for my lack of posts this year. 2017 didn't get off to a good start for me - my dearly loved Aunt passed away in early February after being in hospital since Christmas Eve, I underwent an eye operation in January which put me out of action for a few weeks, we had a major water leak at home and then my 91 year old Mother had a fall which resulted in her being in hospital for 5 weeks and then a lot of work trying to sort out a care package for her etc. Things have slowly got back to somewhere near normal and I now feel able to begin blogging again.

DH and I have joined the National Trust this year and have enjoyed a few days out and about at NT properties lately. I will at some stage soon backtrack and do a roundup post of where we have been but for this post I am concentrating on a visit we made yesterday.

We started our trip out by enjoying a pub lunch at The Vine at Hannington, this is one of our favourite places to eat and the food was well up to its usual standard.

We then motored on to The Vyne, a Tudor mansion at Sherborne St. John, near Basingstoke. I last visited The Vyne on a school history outing more years ago than I care to remember and it was DH's first visit.

We knew that we were not going to see the house in all its glory as there is a major refurbishment of the roof taking place after water started to seep through to the first floor. The whole building is clad in scaffolding and plastic but what inspired us to visit was someone at the National Trust had the inspired idea of creating a walkway up above the roof so you can look down onto the roof and all the work that is going on. This is a unique experience as the work is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year and the building will be unveiled once more.

This is what the front of the house looked like before the major renovation work began ...

 and this is the view at the moment ...

It is hard to imagine a Tudor mansion is behind all that plastic, one would expect a modern office building or factory!

We made our way up to the walkway above the roof where we donned our hi-viz jackets and began our tour, I will let the photos below speak for themselves but just to let you know it took 4 months to erect the scaffolding and it contains 41 miles of scaffolding poles:

I am sure you will agree that this is a mammoth project estimated to cost 5.4 million pounds and I was amazed to learn that they have a completion date of December this year which is pretty remarkable as there is still so much work to be done. We intend to revisit later this year to see how they are getting on and of course we will visit once it has been completed to see the house in all its glory.

We also had an opportunity to 'tag' a tile which will be used on the roof - I wonder if in several hundred years time these tiles will be uncovered once again.

At the moment the first floor is off limits but we were able to look around the ground floor. The building's last owners were the Chute family and they not only left the building to the National Trust but all of the contents as well which, we were told by the informative guides, is pretty unusual. There were certainly some beautiful pieces of furniture and paintings on display.

The gardens were also looking wonderful and we enjoyed a stroll around the grounds.

We couldn't believe it when this cormorant appeared out of the lake, not what we expected to see

If you are interested in finding out more about The Vyne you will find all the information here.

I sincerely hope it won't be another six months until I write another blog post and hope that some of my regular followers are still around. I intend to be more active at visiting other blogs and commenting as well. As a result of everything that happened earlier this year I decided that life is too short, you never know what is around the corner, so I made the decision to fully retire so my many years of working in a school office are coming to an end in a few weeks at the end of this academic year so theoretically I should have a lot more time!!! 


  1. I'm sorry to hear you haven't had the best time in 2017 so far but it's lovely to see a post from you and I'm glad things are looking a little better now. I've heard a of a few places allowing visiting to walk on the roof like this during restoration - what a great experience, I'd love do that somewhere one day!

  2. Woohoo! Welcome back, so nice to see you again especially at The Vyne, such a beautiful place. There will be no stopping you with an NT card, Clandon Park also allows the public to look in at the restoration after the fire, I keep meaning to go myself.

  3. It better not be another 6 months Mrs. D, I really missed you blogging. My posts are mainly about cards these days and tomorrow will be my tri-weekly update on stitching but we haven't been out walking for such a long time. If I can get my hips stronger again we will soon be off once more lol.

    Glad to have you back Jan. Love reading about all your walks.

  4. Theoretically ....I like that :0) Time is always short it seems.
    Thank you for the great photos you shared Jan. It was so interesting.
    It's also lovely to see you back in blogland.
    I hope life settles down and you get lots of time to enjoy your retirement. As you say life is short and it's best to get out and enjoy things while we can.
    Jacquie xxx

  5. looks amazing and love the way you have or will have a tile on the roof. wonder how many years before it has to be looked at & your tile found! Chris xxx

  6. I took early retirement to enjoy more time together, these days we often ask how we had time to go to work our lives are so busy. So sorry to hear about your Aunt and your own ill health, hopefully you are on the mend now. Beautiful gardens.

  7. What a fascinating post Jan. Visited the Vyne some years ago when my boys were small. Glad you are managing me to get back to blogging. B x

  8. Welcome back, we are still here! I always feel guilty when I haven't posted for a while, but it's your blog, you do what you want. Well done on joining then the National Trust, there's some great places to visit. Congratulations on retiring too, even more time for crafty fun! Xx

  9. Brings back memories of crafty meet ups down your way as I have been to both places. In fact the Vine became our local as the caravan site was just over the fields. Happy days.