Overbecks Museum Sharpitor - Salcombe South Devon

Overbecks Sharpitor

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Sharpitor, Bolt Head near Salcombe
Post Code

Often referred to as Overbecks, perched high on the cliffs of Salcombe, this is a hidden paradise of subtropical gardens with all sorts of fascinating things to explore inside the house as well.

It's perfect for all the family to enjoy but if you are a keen gardener it is an absolute must to while away a day or two here amongst the banana gardens and palms.

The Edwardian house is set in a 7 acre garden, named after an eccentric scientist called Otto Overbeck who bought it in 1928 and lived there creating all sorts of wonderful inventions such as the 'rejuvenator'. Have fun listening to his 'polyphon' a giant Victorian music box and other intriguing and eclectic collections of maritime and natural history.

In the late 19th Century Salcombe was a major shipping centre in the fruit trade, hence why many of the gardens' plants are subtropical with vessels sailing to far flung places such as Iberia, the Mediterranean, the West Indies as well as the Azores. In 1914 there were only three or four local trading ships and Salcombe had become known as a destination for pleasure sailing with the Salcombe Sailing Club founded in 1922.

The house is now divided between a museum and YHA youth hostel. Otto Overbeck bequeathed the property and the gardens to the National Trust on his death, to be used as a public park and museum. The museum is also known for the display of boats and shipwrecks such as Herzogin Cecilie, which came to rest in Starehole Bay just a little further along the coast path to Bolt Head.


  • Parking - Plenty
  • Accessibility - No problem
  • Toilets - Yes
  • Refreshments - Yes
  • Dogs - Not allowed in the main grounds.

Best for

Historians, wildlife, gardens and coast path walking.

Look out for

Do look out for the room with the dolls house and "Fred the friendly ghost" - can you find the secret door?

It's a fact !

Otto gave it to the National Trust on provision that it was 'not used as a brothel' as so many other properties in the surrounding area had become!

There is a plant named 'Sharpitor', its Latin name is: Fuchsia Magellanica Molinae. It has pink flowers and red fruit, can you see one?

Look for the Humming birds.


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