Where is the Drake link?
As you approach Burrator Dam, Drake’s Leat carves a shallow line through the woods to your right, and
can be accessed using the footpath to the right of the public toilets.
The original source for Drake’s Leat sits deep underneath the brooding surface of Burrator reservoir. For 18 miles fresh water flowed from
Burrator to Plymouth in a trench some 6 feet wide and two feet deep. The route was skilfully surveyed
so that water did not flow too quickly and erode the soil banks. The leat was not granite lined until the
th 19 century.
As well as being an accomplished sailor, Drake was also a shrewd businessman. He was given £200 to
cover construction costs and £100 to compensate landowners. In the end he paid out £100 for construction and £60 for land, making a tidy profit
Other local information…
You will also see Devonport Leat in the woodland to the west of the reservoir. Built in 1790 the leat still
provides drinking water to local villages and Plymouth as it cascades into the main reservoir.
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Still want to know more?
Reservoir and parish information:
Drake’s Trail website for more recreation routes:
For local events including the Oak Fair: