Projects - Country Houses

The Vyne, Sherborne St John, Hampshire

Roof Restoration Project

Client: National Trust

 Listing Status: Grade I Listed

 The Vyne has been at the very cutting edge of style, reflecting the specific tastes of the owners over time. The Vyne was given to the National Trust in 1956 by Sir Charles Chute, having been in the ownership of two families (the Sandys family, followed by the Chutes) since 1488. There are the vestiges of a vast Tudor mansion, re-modelled to mid 17th century sensibilities and symmetry, giving a layered effect and an essay of the history of architecture in the past five centuries.

Nick Cox Architects were appointed by the National Trust to act as Lead Consultant for the project to restore the roof of the mansion. The appointment included project planning, cost planning, design, the preparation and submission of statutory consents. Nick Cox Architects also participated in activities associated with the National Trust’s objectives for Interpretation and Engagement.  A roof top walkway allowed the visiting public (including those with disabilities) an opportunity to see the works in progress and to view the wider landscape from roof level.

Works included: renewal of tiled roof coverings, renewal of all leadwork using sand cast lead (re-cast from the original), alteration of rainwater outlets, re-building unstable chimney stacks, rebuilding defective sections of parapet walls and cappings, conservation works and re-pointing to all elevations, repairs to sash windows, works to improve the lightning protection system, introducing a new fall restraint system. Work was also done to investigate the potential for the provision of a new photovoltaic array to central valley. Other works required investigations to support the specification and design for improved insulation in the roof and for fire protection within the roof.

The main challenges involved the integration of additional fire protection retrospectively and the coordination of roofing and masonry works within a constrained working area. Other challenges included project constraints due to protected species and co-ordinating works accordingly with input from the Ecologist. 

The project has been a great success for the National Trust with significant increase in visitor numbers and a high level of enthusiasm from all involved. It is an exemplar in how good conservation work can also provide great engagement for the public.