Visit to The Vyne, Basignstoke

Club outing to view The Vyne in Basingstoke whilst the roof is being repaired

Members of Four Marks and Medstead Rotary recently spent a fascinating afternoon

high in the Hampshire sky watching a team of men hard at work on a remarkable


The Rotary members, as well as family and friends, were visiting The Vyne, a

National Trust property near Basingstoke, where the entire roof of the Tudor palace

is being renovated in full view of the visiting public. The project is costing £5.4million

and is due to be completed within a few months.

Visitors are taken up by lift or by a 74-step staircase to an aerial walkway high above

the roof of the building. The covered walkway encircles the entire property, so all

aspects of the renovation operation are visible, as a team of experts remove all the

tiles to replace the roof structure and tiles as required, and also rebuild the many

chimneys. A total of 71,000 tiles are being replaced, with replacements carefully

sourced to ensure they match the centuries-old original tiles.

The aerial walk was an ideal way to study the way the roof had originally been built,

and to watch skilled craftsmen at work restoring the historic roof structure. At the

end of the tour, the party had a chance to ‘tag a tile’ so that the visit of Four Marks

and Medstead Rotary was recorded for posterity on the restored roof of The Vyne.

While there, the party had an opportunity to tour the palace, said to be a favourite of

Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, who stayed there in 1535, and also view the gardens,

lakes and ancient woodlands, before rounding off the afternoon with a cream tea.

The organiser of the visit, Lisa Hillan, said a return trip was planned for next summer.

“It will be a chance to see the roof renovations completed, and another opportunity

for some more culture and a cream tea at The Vyne”, she said.