News from Sharpham

Jesse's a class act!

Sharpham gardener Jesse Hammond and his certificate

Our gardener Jesse Hammond has left the classroom, after passing his NVQ Level 3 Horticulture (Higher Level Apprenticeship). 

This was the culmination of two years' study at Bicton College, where Jesse attended classes weekly.

He and apprentice gardener Jacqui Hallum have also recently gained their brushcutter and strimming qualifications, adding to prior mower qualifications for them both.

Congratulations, garden team!

Dry stone the wet

Dry stone wall work at The Sharpham Trust

Careful conservation work has been going on in our 18th century walled garden - despite this wet weather.

Dry stone wall work at The Sharpham Trust

Gary Grover, from Torbay Stone Walling has replaced a rotting timber lintel in the doorway to the garden.

Plus he's been dealing with damage done over the decades by roots and plants, and repointing the walls with lime mortar, as used in Georgian times.

According to Gary, he and his company are specialists in authentic stone wall repairs, eschewing today's concrete for yesterday's lime.

“It’s not as strong as cement, but it doesn’t need to be,” he said. "And it doesn’t look grey. It is mixed with coarse sand so it’s in keeping with the original.""Lime mortar looks nicer and it’s breathable for the wall," said Gary. "It can expand and contract small amounts, allowing for movement. And it can re-heal when cracking.

Gary's been at Sharpham for just under a fortnight and he and his team have worked on the river wall at the Bathing House, on rebuilding the North Quay, alterations in the courtyard, work on flagstones and general masonry about the property.

So what’s he think of working at Sharpham? “It’s lovely, relaxing, quiet – the opposite of a building site!” he said.

Has he been meditating during his work?

“I don’t have time for that! But my work is sometimes therapeutic. But it's sometimes stressful too!”

Dry stone wall work at The Sharpham Trust

Words from a retreatant

Winter 2016 at The Sharpham Trust

A retreatant so enjoyed her recent time here with us that she was moved to write this:
The Sharpham Instruction Manual
Wake, listen, rise
Stretch, bend, reach
Flow, circle, groove
Breathe, breathe, breathe
Walk, stride, wander
Colour, doodle, draw
Read, write, study
Breathe, breathe, breathe
Sleep, nap, nod
Gaze, examine, notice
Question, listen, hear
Breathe, breathe, breathe
Knit, stitch, play
Laugh, smile, share
Lie down, ease, relax
Repeat, repeat, repeat

Our natural burial ground goes national

Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground in More to Death magazine

Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground has featured in a national magazine.

Our stunning site on the Sharpham Estate was publicised in the online magazine of the Natural Death Centre - the organisation that pioneered natural burial grounds, and which says: "We are passionate about sharing knowledge, dispelling myths, and empowering everyone who wants to have the best experience possible when it comes to making arrangements for a funeral."

Big pictures showing the ground itself, the vista, the ceremonial building and the Fire Circle artwork are alongside a description of the ground and its position in our community. There's also a case-study of a burial, written by Rupert Callender (who manages the site on behalf of the Trust with his wife Claire).

The online magazine has 70,000 readers across the UK and the world each quarter, and gets emailed directly to more than 7,000 subscribers.  

Click the image below to read the magazine online. Our feature is on page 30 and our advert is on page 23:

Sharpham's Capability Brown landscape...on radio

Sharpham on BBC Radio Devon

Sharpham's dramatic landscape has featured on two BBC radio programmes.

Radio Devon's Jo Loosemore interviewed Richard Soans, chair of Devon Gardens Trust, former Sharpham Trustee and current member of Sharpham's heritage and archive team.

In the first programme, the pair talked about Sharpham's wonderful landscape, thought to have been designed by the famed Capability Brown.

This year sees the 300th anniversary of Brown's birth, and Sharpham is part of the national celebrations of this landscaper's birth - find out more on the official website here

Listen below to the excerpt of the hour-long programme, which went out in December 2015:

Then Richard was broadcast again on January 10, 2016 - this time talking about how Sharpham House came to be built on the site of a Tudor manor on the banks of the River Dart, and the changes that have happened to Sharpham House.

Listen to the clip here:

Get in touch

If you would like to know more about the information on this page, please contact:

Name: Jane Hutchinson, Trust Administrator Tel: 01803 732055

Address: Sharpham House, Sharpham Estate, Ashprington, nr Totnes, Devon, TQ9 7UT