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Keymer handmade clay roof tiles help return The Vyne to its former glory

The stunning results of a roof conservation project at National Trust property The Vyne have been revealed, with Keymer handmade clay roof tiles from Wienerberger taking centre stage.

Located in Sherborne St. John, near Basingstoke, The Vyne is a 500 year old Tudor mansion steeped in rich history. This family home was built for Lord William Sandys, one of King Henry VIII’s Lord Chamberlains, who hosted the monarch on several occasions.

As harsh winter storms caused leaks in the roof, The National Trust embarked on a £5.4 million restoration project lasting 18 months. This mammoth task involved replacing all 71,000 roof tiles, rebuilding chimney stacks, fixing battens and leadwork and installing new insulation for The Vyne’s first major roof refurbishment since 1842. The new roof was installed by Ken Biggs Contractors Ltd, working for Nick Cox Architects.

In order to authentically recreate the aesthetic of The Vyne’s original roof, 1,200m² of Keymer Traditional Antique plain tiles were selected for their inherent character. These tiles are handmade by craftsmen in Wienerberger’s Ewhurst factory, using traditional techniques. Made from local Weald clay, this material is native to The Vyne’s location and likely to be what the original roof tiles were made from.

Experienced in working on restoration projects, Wienerberger’s Heritage Services team were on hand to offer their advice and support, working closely with the National Trust to ensure that the roofing products supplied met all the required regulations. They held a number of special “Make a Tile” and “Tag a Tile” events at The Vyne, inviting visitors to make a tile or write their own message on the back of a pre-fired tile for a small donation towards the roof renovation project. This raised £64,000 and the 12,885 tiles that were either made or tagged by members of the public have become part of The Vyne’s new roof.

Hollie Ryan, Visitor Experience and Fundraising Manager at The Vyne commented,

“Working with the team from Keymer was a lovely experience as they are as passionate about heritage as I am. When the team came to make tiles with our visitors, they put in a great amount of enthusiasm and energy, which really helped us with fundraising to make the project possible.”

Take a closer look at Keymer handmade clay roofing tiles at www.keymer.co.uk.

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