News from Sharpham
Our Open Day - A Summer Celebration: Sunday July 5
26/06/2015 6:40 pm
Join us for a packed day of activities and the chance to enjoy the splendour of Sharpham House and Gardens at our Open Day - A Summer Celebration.
The day includes a host of activities for all the family including arts and crafts, music, story-telling, nature connection workshops and tours of the historic Grade 1-listed Sharpham House and Gardens and beer tent.
Date: July 5 2015, 10.30am to 4pm
Cost - Free Entry (but please note there will be a charge of £4 per car for car parking). Please consider arriving by other means - there is a free Bob the Bus shuttle service running from Totnes see below for times. Most activities are free/see schedule.
All Day Activities
Tipi Bar - Local real Ale and Sharpham Wines in The Big Tipi
Swimming pool - open all day with life guards in attendance
Sharpham House - the principal rooms will be open to explore and enjoy
Café – open all day for teas, coffee and tasty lunch
Sharpham Gardens – open to wander and explore
Canoe Paddle Taster- Cost £4.50 adult £3.00 child (under 12) 45-minute paddle - please visit info table for times and sign up
Rattle Box Storytelling – free performances for all the family throughout the day – see outside the Rattle Box tent for show times
Green woodworking - Try your hand at green wood-working with master craftsman Peter Lanyon
Environmental Arts and Craft – Under the Yew Tree
Sharpham Wine and Cheese and Anchorstone at Sharpham Vineyard Café open for lunch and tours with fantastic local menu including seafood and Sharpham wines
Symbolic artwork unveiled at our natural burial ground
25/06/2015 5:13 pm
Sharpham Meadow, our natural burial ground near Totnes overlooking the River Dart, saw the unveiling of a new art installation at the weekend.
A specially cast 8ft wide bronze ring emblazoned with a line of poetry from Mary Queen of Scots: ‘In my end is my beginning’ now surrounds the Ancestors’ Fire pit at the burial ground, which occupies a spectacular setting within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Cedar seat posts have been set into the ground around the fire-ring decorated with bronze sun and moon ornaments to mark the passing of the seasons, with niches for candles, flowers, offerings and notes to the deceased.
The piece – entitled The Circle - is the result of our Artist in Residence programme, and is the creation of Totnes artist Robin Lacey. The artwork creates a sacred fireside space at the burial ground and symbolises the eternal circle of the fire, the Sun and the Moon.
The Circle was unveiled with a ceremony at the natural burial ground on Saturday June 20, 2015, by Rupert and Claire Callender, who manage the site on behalf of the Sharpham Trust. The site is in the national Association of Natural Burial Grounds.
Guests at the ceremony included people with family and friends buried or interred at the site, which opened on the same Summer Solstice weekend in 2013.
Actor-playwright Peter Oswald performed a piece at the ceremony and harp music was played by Totnes musician Boe Huntress.
Our Programme Manager Ben Ballard said: “It was a simple ceremony and a moving event. The artwork is ideal for the site up there – it provides the perfect place for visitors to sit beside the flames, to remember the people buried here and to be a meditative spot for mourners and visitors.
“We’re really pleased with Robin’s work, which was in response to a brief to connect people with the natural world and life cycles, whilst improving the experience of those visiting Sharpham Meadow,” he added. “We’re sure visitors to the burial ground will welcome The Circle and its enduring message.”
Art in residence at Sharpham
In planning his artwork, Robin spent time at Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground to see how visitors used the site: "I commonly witnessed that mourners were leaving tokens or lit candles to express these things.
“I felt that by incorporating candle niches and a secure receptacle, the Circle would offer the opportunity to light a votive candle and leave written or drawn expressions of their feelings.”
We've been reviewed!
29/05/2015 12:58 pm
Retreats at Sharpham have been reviewed by royalty.
Our Beginners' Mindfulness Retreats in Sharpham House have been favourably reviewed by The Queen of Retreats on her site which reviews retreats globally.
Reviewer Carla said: "The beauty and peace and the generosity of spirit in which the Ashes endowed Sharpham lives on today in the people who continue to run it today. It really is a very special place. Everything from the glorious formal gardens and the informal banks of primroses outside, to the worn rugs and well-thumbed books and pictures inside, draws you in and tells you that here is a much-loved place in which caring people have lived and worked and done their best to make the world a better place. Inspirational is not too strong a word to describe the atmosphere."
The Queen of Retreats also tweeted about us to her followers - follow @QueenofRetreats here
Gold medal for Sharpham Wine
29/05/2015 12:42 pm
Trust Partners Sharpham Wine & Cheese have won twin accolades in a significant wine contest.
At the recent Sommelier Wine Awards, held in London, Sharpham’s ‘Barrel Fermented 2013’ white wine was not only awarded a Gold medal, but also gained the highest recognition of winning a Critics Choice Trophy.
Duncan Schwab, Sharpham’s winemaker, said, “We are truly delighted to get this recognition. We picked up a Gold at last year’s competition with our ‘Dart Valley Reserve’ and so to win again this year shows great consistency and proves we are indeed making world class wines.”
Over 2,500 of the world’s best wines were judged by more than 100 leading sommeliers, including three Masters of Wine. Only a dozen wines were given a Critics' Choice Trophy.
Launch event of new work by Artist in Residence Robin Lacey - 'Circle' at Sharpham Meadow Burial Ground
29/05/2015 3:37 pm
Date - 20th June 11.00am
Venue - Sharpham Meadow Natural Burial Ground - Directions here
Join us to unveil the results of our Artist Residency on the Summer Solstice weekend. The event will include a simple ceremony, poetry performance and music followed by refreshments. We are building a community of people linked to this special place and the event is open to all, as well as those who have loved ones buried at the site.
The art work
Robin's work is in response to a brief to "connect people with the natural world and life cycles, whilst improving the experience of those visiting [Sharpham Meadow]. Fundamental too, was that it needed to provide a focal point for mourners to leave a token, prayer or, letter to a loved one."
After regular visits to and meditations upon Sharpham Meadow, Robin chose a circle as the symbol of the life & death cycle. Said Robin: "It seemed evident that the Circle was to be the motif, and immanent in it, the Sun and Moon, and Nature’s Cycle of Life, Death and Renewal. These are common to us all, from wherever we come, and whatever belief, or none."
He has designed a surround for the fire pit at Sharpham Meadow, with simple wooden post seating with bronze inlays and a place for remembrance and thought. Said Robin: "The Circle, whilst being a place to dwell with memories, feelings and thoughts...ought to offer the means for acts of remembrance.
"I commonly witnessed that mourners were leaving tokens or lit candles to express these things. I felt that by incorporating candle niches and a secure receptacle, the Circle would offer the opportunity to light a votive candle and leave written or drawn expressions of their feelings. These would be sensitively offered to the Fire at appropriate times for their liberation."