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.