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Report - Drakes Island, Plymouth, September 2012

Discussion in 'Other Sites' started by flamingskoda, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. flamingskoda

    flamingskoda 28DL Member
    28DL Member

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    As a first attempt at Urbex, this place was a great explore. Visited with my brother we spent a very enjoyable couple of hours exploring this island with all its underground tunnels, gun emplacements and abandoned buildings. We could have spent a lot longer there.

    This island has been a fortress since about 1500, defending the harbour and naval base at Plymouth. It was also used a prison for a time. The military use ceased in about 1956 and from the early 1960's to 1980's it was the home of an Adventure Holiday centre for kids with sailing boats, canoes and the like. This closed in the late 80's and in the 1990's the island was bought by a private buyer. An application for a hotel was submitted which was unsuccessful and the place has been left abandoned ever since.

    Access is no problem as long as you have a decent boat. We motored down from Saltash, anchored my brothers larger boat a safe distance from the island and then landed using my small inflatable and outboard. Safest landing spot is on the right hand side of the jetty on the small beach on the landward side of the island. The jetty is in poor condition so not recommended. If you do decide to go around the island in your boat, bear in mind that between the island and Cornwall is a submerged anti-submarine barrier with a safe passage marked by green and red posts.

    There was no security and all the buildings had previously been broken open so we basically had the run of the place. Didn't see anyone else at all.

    The underground tunnels which were used for storing ammunition are extensive with remains of WW2 stretchers and also interesting lifts to send the shells up to the guns above. The 1800's gun batteries have some superb victorian workmanship with spiral granite staircases and archways. At the very top of the site are about six huge muzzle loading guns. In the old part of the battery we found a steep shaft going down, but didn't attempt it as we didn't take a rope with us. We think this leads to a doorway or maybe another level on the seaward side of the island. Maybe a good reason to go back.

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    #1 flamingskoda, Sep 10, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012

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