Discovering Sharpham Heritage Day

Wednesday 4 September 2019 - 9.30am registration

Find out about Sharpham's history and explore the Grade 1-listed house and gardens at our Discovering Sharpham Heritage day.

Join us for a packed day of talks, tours, music by Devon's award-winning folk musician Jim Causley and delicious Sharpham food in the majestic 18th Palladian villa overlooking the River Dart.  

Sharpham House - home to meditation retreats, nature events, weddings, natural burials

Sharpham's links to the River Dart

This year's Discovering Sharpham Heritage Day will focus on the links between Sharpham and the beautiful River Dart, on which we sit.

We will be discussing the river's connection between Dartmoor, Totnes and Dartmouth, and grand riverside villas including Greenway.

You'll tour Sharpham House as if it were the River Dart, flowing through its principal rooms to experience talks and discussions with history experts.

There's performance of music and poetry, plus the option to join a river walk. The day includes a chance to sample Sharpham's cheese over a delicious lunch.

This day is for you if you are:

  • Interested in history and keen to learn more about local heritage
  • Looking for an exclusive tour around Sharpham House and its gardens
  • Wanting to taste the award-winning Sharpham cheese over lunch
  • Looking for a fascinating and varied day out


The day runs from 9.30am until 4pm.


Dr Tom Greaves

Heritage Day at The Sharpham TrustCultural environmentalist Tom was born in Plymouth in 1949. After working as an archaeologist for Devon County Council and Dartmoor National Park from 1976-85, Tom joined the environmental arts group Common Ground from 1985-1990.

In 1998 he co-founded the Dartmoor Society and in April 2019 retired as Chairman. Since the 1960s Tom has been fascinated by the Devon tin industry, which has been a particular focus of his research. He co-founded the Dartmoor Tinworking Research Group in 1991

He has written extensively about Dartmoor. His most recent books include Dartmoor’s Earliest Photographs – Landscape & Place 1860-1880 (Twelveheads, Truro, 2015) and Called Home – The Dartmoor Tin Miner 1860-1940: Photographs & Memory (Twelveheads, Truro, 2016).

Jill Drysdale

Heritage Day at The Sharpham TrustAfter retiring to Totnes, Jill took an M.A. course in Local and Regional History at Exeter University.  

Since then she has given many talks and completed many research projects on all aspects of local history and family history.

At present she is an archivist and researcher for Totnes Museum Archives at the Museum in Totnes. She is a former nurse and social worker.

Gail Ham

Gail Ham, speaker at Discovering Sharpham Heritage Day 2019Gail Ham is the current Chair of the Dartmouth History Research Group. After a career in the Ministry of Defence and management consultancy, she retired to Dartmouth in 2012 and is now able to indulge her love of history fully.

Working with other members of the group, she is currently researching several topics, including life in Dartmouth at the time of the visit of the Mayflower and Speedwell; 18th century privateering and the fallen of both the First and Second World Wars.

Dr Rosemary Yallop

Rosemary Yallop at Discovering Sharpham Heritage Day

Rosemary Yallop is an architectural and cultural historian specialising in domestic British architecture of the 19th century. Her doctorate from the University of Oxford examined the evolution of the Rustic Italianate villa style in Britain. Current research interests include the careers of Humphry Repton’s architect sons and the work of provincial architects in Devon and Cornwall.

A writer and lecturer, she directs courses and teaches for the Oxford University Department of Continuing Education and for the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and is a Trustee and Vice-Chairman of the Georgian Group. She lives on the east bank of the Dart and has recently been researching aspects of Sharpham’s history.

Sandy Howard

Heritage Day at The Sharpham Trust

For the last 15 years, Sandy has been a National Trust volunteer and room guide, both at Bradley Manor in Newton Abbot and Greenway on the River Dart.

As a keen gardener herself, she also leads weekly garden tours at Greenway and continues to research and promote the historical development of the estate.  She has recently completed histories of Greenway’s three holiday cottages and Lower Greenway Farm.

Sandy Howard is a retired teacher of English Literature and EFL.

Jim Causley

Heritage Day at The Sharpham TrustJim is an award-winning Devonshire folk singer, described in national media as "spearheading the West Country folk revival" and "the finest singer of his generation".

He has been nominated for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards six times, featured on television several times and has song with all the greats in this field, including The Watersons and Emily Portman.

He has a great interest in Devonshire history and has teamed up with Valerie at various venues in Devon to give presentations on green lanes. At Sharpham he will be singing 'The Earl of Totnes', about a Champerknowne of Dartington and playing Devonshire tunes throughout the day at various venues.

See him performing a musical version of a poem by his relation, the famous Cornish poet Charles Causley here:

Valerie Belsey

Heritage Day at The Sharpham TrustValerie Belsey has been researching the life and times of Philemon Pownoll of Sharpham for the last couple of years and presented her results at last year's Heritage Day. 

She has written extensively on Devonshire's green lanes and has written many short stories with historical themes emphasizing the importance of those who used green lanes on a daily basis. She will read extracts from some poems associated with the Dart from medieval to modern times.

Lynette Gribble

Heritage Day at The Sharpham TrustLynette was a Sharpham Trustee from 2000 – 2011 and Chair for 4 of those years.

She then formed a Heritage Group to uncover Sharpham’s history, and developed the Sharpham Archive.

This has attracted over 30 volunteers, many of whom will be present on the day.

Chris Nicholls

Heritage Day at The Sharpham Trust

Chris was the Director of the Sharpham Trust for 18 years, until his retirement in 2014. He is now part of the Trust's Heritage Group, helping to preserve our history.

A heritage highlight of his time in post included the successful search for the portraits of Philemon and Jane Pownoll, which hang in the Music Room in Sharpham House.

Further details

For more details, click the Schedule tab above.

We are sorry but we do not allow dogs (except for guide dogs).

For wheelchair users, we've got ramps and a lift for accessing parts of the House. Please get in touch to let us know in your needs in advance and we'll be happy to help you.

Programme - to be confirmed

9.30am - Registration, refreshments, viewing of information boards, sign up for tours

- Welcome to Discovering Sharpham’s Heritage day 2019 with Julian Carnell, Director of Sharpham Trust

- Tours of the House and the landscape 

Lunch: Sharpham cheese platter with an assortment of salads, dips and breads with fresh fruit. Sharpham wine will be available for sale.

Click here for directions to Sharpham House

We are sorry but we do not allow dogs (except for guide dogs)


The event costs £21 per person for the whole day, including lunch.


Retreats & Events

Booking essential. Buy tickets easily and securely here or by phoning 01803 732542

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