Drake's Place
A place to unwind, refuel, play table tennis or just let off steam. 
Beautifully restored to its former glory, Drake’s Place is an award-winning community space offering a calm and relaxing oasis amidst the whirl of urban living. It is an accessible, welcoming haven and a safe diverse habitat for wildlife that has won the Green Flag award every year since 2015.
The gardens and reservoir are open during daylight hours.
 

Drake's Place history

Drake’s Place Gardens and Reservoir have a rich history, having been an integral part of Plymouth life for a very long time.
In 1592, Plymouth built a 28km channel running through Drake’s Place, carrying water to the city from Dartmoor. This became known as Drake’s Leat after Sir Francis Drake, who oversaw the construction. Drake’s Leat supplied water to the townspeople through conduit houses around the town. The remains of two of these, the Old Town Conduit and the Higher Mills Conduit, are preserved in the walls of the reservoir.
The reservoir, built in 1825 and extended in 1828, was the main source of water for the town before new reservoirs were built at Hartley and Burrator.
Drake’s Mill stood in the gardens once too, supplying the town with flour. In the 1880s the mills were demolished, replaced by grand new gardens which opened in 1891 as a tribute to Sir Francis Drake. 
These featured a broad promenade along the dam of the reservoir, above a colonnade overlooking the gardens. Granite columns from Plymouth’s old market were incorporated into the colonnade.
The reservoir went out of use in the 1970s, gradually becoming derelict.
In 2007, University of Plymouth took over the lease for the gardens and reservoir from Plymouth City Council, investing £300,000 to make the gardens more attractive and secure. We opened the restoration to the public in June 2014, bringing the gardens back to their former glory. We also opened the Reservoir Cafe in the Nancy Astor Building, giving you somewhere to enjoy a drink, a bite to eat, and the scenery.
The £1.2 million project to restore Drake's Place was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund.
Drakes Place

Use Drake's Place for Teaching and Learning

Drake's Place is our University campus, Green Flag Award winning park.
The space features a promenade and lawn with trees, shrubs and flowers.
Enquire for both University and external activities by emailing drakesplace@plymouth.ac.uk 

Free table tennis

Rent free rackets and balls for use on the tables in Drake's Place Gardens
The tables are located under the sheltering arches of the colonnade – so no need to let the weather stop you!
Ask a member of staff at Reservoir Cafe to lend you this equipment.
 
Drake's Place Gardens - table tennis table