The King Comes To The Vyne

Infamous Tudor Monarch Sets Up Home on Hampshire Estate

HenryVIII Although many houses lay claims to tenuous links with perhaps our greatest monarch, King Henry VIII, one property in Hampshire was part of his life for almost 30 years.

9001277 The Vyne near Basingstoke, created by Henry’s Lord Chamberlain, William 1st Lord Sandys, was visited no less than three times by the king, and contains surviving examples of rare and exquisite Tudor interiors, which the great king himself would have been familiar with.

On 11 and 12 September, the infamous King Henry is once again in residence at The Vyne and an invitation to join in the celebrations is extended to all those wishing to pay court. The monarch, and his entourage, played by the illustrious Hungerford Household, are making themselves at home in the stately rooms of this historic house, bringing Tudor characters from the period of Henry’s reign to life, and recreating domestic scenes of a gentleman’s country household.

(click on the images to see larger versions)

The complex social strata of the 16th-century is clearly demonstrated, with lavishly clothed courtiers taking centre stage, entertained by dancers and musicians, all of whom are tended to by a host of servants, kept in check by the housekeeper. The royal household are closely guarded by the men at arms – professional soldiers clad in military uniform.

The Hungerford Household also reveals the importance of various skills and crafts of the day, essential professions to a large house such as The Vyne. Visitors can watch needlewomen, spinners and spoon-carvers at work, and chat to these characters about their work and lives. Also present is a Medieval herbalist, who is offering practical advice on the use of herbs in household products, recipes and medicines.

Tudor Weekend: 11 & 12 September, 11am – 4pm, normal admission charge only.

Location: The Vyne, Sherborne St John, Basingstoke RG24 9HL, 01256 883858

Vyne - Hungerford Household 2 Vyne - Hungerford Household - Jolly Jack

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