Saturday 7 April 2012: The Vyne, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke
Haven't visited The Vyne in 30 years. Our last visit there was with my Mum and Dad and our young son, so this was quite a nostalgic occasion. Mum and Dad now departed, young son now a grown man.
The Vyne was purchased in 1653 by Chaloner Chute, Speaker of the House of Commons in Richard Cromwell's Parliament. The Chutes seem to have been MP's and barristers, and the house stayed with them for some 350 years. It was given to the National Trust in 1956 by the Chute heirs, Sir Charles and Lady Chute. It has gardens including a wild garden and walled garden, and woodland and wetland walks. I remembered it as idyllic in sunshine, but that wasn't the case today. The tearoom was chaotic with no one knowing what to charge for cakes, the cutlery hidden away in a dark niche, and rain beginning to fall on our parade.
Dashed inside the house, which we hadn't intended, preferring outdoors, and came across Somebody Chute's writing desk, probably one of the few pieces in the entire place that I could live with.