The Vyne is an important English Renaissance house with the earliest portico of its kind by John Webb, Inigo Jones’s son-in-law, and a magnificent eighteenth-century staircase. It was originally built by William (d.1540), 1st Lord Sandys, Henry VIII’s confidante for over 30 years. After the wealth and power of the Sandys family were finally broken by the Civil War, the 6th Lord Sandys sold it in 1653 to Chaloner Chute, Speaker of the House of Commons in the last Commonwealth Parliament.
His descendant, John Chute, an intimate friend of Horace Walpole, was encouraged by him to employ the Alsatian artist Johann Heinrich Müntz (1737–1798), who painted portraits, landscapes and views of The Vyne that are still in the house. He also employed the Corfu-born artist Spiridione Roma to paint the recently restored trompe l’oeil decoration of the Perpendicular-style private chapel. In a state of slow decay, the house remained in the family (used as a school during the 1920s and 1940s) until Sir Charles Chute (1879–1956), who had electric light installed in 1920, bequeathed The Vyne to the National Trust with its contents and an estate of over a thousand acres.