Drakes Island

Plymouth, UK
Posted on February 9, 2022 / 11
Listing Type : Coastal Battery
Location : England

Drakes Island forms the last major defence position to protect the entrance to the Dockyard and

The fortifications that remain on Drake’s Island largely date from 1860 onwards, most of the earlier constructions have been lost due to subsequent redevelopment.  The Island formed part of the Inner Defences of Plymouth.

Drake’s Island provides a excellent surviving example of  British coastal artillery defences from 1860 to 1947 including:

  • Main Battery – Three 6-inch Breech Loading Guns
  • Left Q.F. Battery – Three 12-pdr Quick Fire Guns
  • Right Q.F. Battery – Three 12-pdr Quick Fire Guns
  • Casemate Battery – Twenty one 9-inch RMLs in Casemated and shielded emplacements
  • Main Battery – Three 11-inch and two 12.5-inch RML guns
  • Three Defence Electric Lights
  • Two Twin 6-pdr Quick Fire from World War

During the Medieval period the Island was mainly used for religious purposes with a small chapel on the site.  It would appear to have been first fortified about 1548 when it was called St Nicholas Island.  It remained an active coastal defence fortification until 1945.  The military finally withdrew with the demise of the Coastal Artillery in 1957.

 

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