Drake’s Island: From the Archives

The Box

The Box | Tavistock Place | Plymouth | Devon PL4 8AX 01752 304774 Email Facebook Twitter

There are few Plymouth landmarks as recognisable as this little island and we’re very lucky to have an amazing space in this city like Plymouth Sound, but how many times have you stood on the Hoe and looked out across the water without really thinking about the history right in front of you?

Here’s a link to a detailed history of Drake’s Island which goes back as far as the 12th century. Did you know it’s also been called St Michael’s and St Nicholas in the past?


We’ve also rounded up a few documents from the archives for you to see.

The map of Plymouth pictured above is held in the historic collections at The Box and dates from the 19th century. Drake’s Island can clearly be seen bottom middle and is labelled ‘St Nicholas of Drake’s Island’.

This black and white image was taken from The Hoe looking across to Drake’s Island and dates from c1950.

Finally, these documents date from 1966 when Drake’s Island was home to an adventure centre. In the article it states that courses can be:

residential or non-residential, boys, girls or mixed. Schools and youth groups are welcome as are individual bookings by parents or youngsters themselves.

The courses that were on offer included life and social skills, RYA sailing and BCU canoeing. They included bespoke sessions, a week-long ‘General Course’ and one-day samplers.

Did you ever go to the Adventure Centre? Do you have any memories of it or of Drake’s Island in general? Let us know via our Facebook or Twitter channels!

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