I love that naughty feeling of being somewhere that you shouldn’t and others aren’t, don’t you? Sneaking off behind the scenes away from the crowds and experiencing something you feel only few before you have. However, at the same time I am a huge conformist and no rule breaker and so would never nip off somewhere I hadn’t been invited. So an open invitation to visit the roof of the National Trust property The Vyne seemed to tick all the right boxes!
The Vyne is an attractive property in Hampshire that seems to be in pretty good nick given its age. However, a huge storm a few years ago revealed that the roof was leaking like the proverbial and needed desperate measures to get it back into shape. And so the Trust embarked on a multi-million pound project to restore the roof on the property.
The Trust could have decided just to get on with it and reopened once it was done. However, it is commendable that instead they chose to design the scaffolding so that members of the public could walk above the ongoing works and see areas that you would never normally see and won’t see again. And wow, what a thing of beauty the scaffolding is.
The intension had been to go up with my Dad and leave the women folk down below with a cream tea but everyone expressed a keen interest in going up and the lift provided made this easy for all. Once up there Mum took great pleasure in finding all the Lego mini figures that had been left in interesting places!
From the ground the roof looks like one single continuous unit but once you are up on the scaffolding several metres above the roof level it is very clearly not the case. The roof goes off in all sorts of directions, presumably where the property has been extended over the years.
The work involves not only replacing the roof tiles but also adding insulation, righting leaning chimney pots, replacing poor stone work, repointing and installing Sky multi-room (only joking). It is a major project and is costing over £5M.
While the roof work was interesting it was the scaffolding itself that I found fascinating. The notices said that it took “months” to design and four months to put up and I can well believe it. Having had scaffolding put up over our conservatory once I know just how expensive that can be.
All in all it is a great experience and if you are in the area it is well worth a visit particularly as it is no additional cost and certainly more interesting than the inside of the house 😉 !