Okay so it not so much an actual window I am featuring on Window Wednesday this week but the metaphorical window that let’s you view the £5.4 million roof restoration project at The Vyne. We have been to the Vyne before since it is one of our closest National Trust houses and has not only a gorgeous house to venture into, but also stunning grounds and gardens. Mr B and I were last here just before Christmas in 2015 (gosh was it really that long ago?!) and it is where I ended up last week when I messaged Annie and said “I could really do with a day out and away from the news, can you meet me tomorrow?!”. Annie replied almost instantly that she felt the same and suggested this National Trust spot as she hadn’t been there.
We strolled down to the house on the most glorious of spring days, the sun was shining, people were walking dogs, some were lounging in deck chairs, for a couple of hours we had left the real world back in the car park and had found somewhere to escape. We didn’t, however, find the warm sausage rolls we were hoping to start our day with, but made do with huge slabs of cake and pots of tea. It’s law that you have tea and cake when visiting a National Trust house.
That done we wandered towards the house, which is currently completely wrapped in scaffolding, 41 miles of it if you laid all the poles end to end. Much like Clandon Park where we went recently. Unlike Clandon, which was devastated by fire, The Vyne is in the midst of a roof restoration so the house is still open to visitors, but we decided to focus on this latest attraction: the rooftop walkway
Accessed by lift (or stairs if you really feel the urge) you get a view of a Tudor House which many will never have seen before. Looking down directly onto the roof itself, watching skilled workmen removing roof tiles and restoring the roof beneath. It was fascinating. And as somebody who adores chimneys I could have stayed up there all day.
Here some photos to show you exactly what I mean:
See what I mean? I don’t think I have ever seen anything like it. A truly rare insight into how roofs were constructed and how organisations such as the National Trust go about restoring them.
It is open to the public when the house is, and is included in the entrance fee (or free to members).
You can also decorate a roof tile which along with 70,999 will sit on top of the new roof forever more, an opportunity we couldn’t miss. The idea that in years to come somebody will look down on the tile Annie draw (I can’t draw, so I delegated) and maybe wonder who “Spratt and Barrow” are… somebody commented on my Instagram post that it sounds as though somebody miss heard Jack Sparrow’s name.
Having seen the garden in December it was lovely to come back and see it in full bloom (and explore the walled garden which we hadn’t done last time) in the sunshine.
And one here for my father in law (Hopalong !):
Definitely worth a visit whilst the walkway is in place!