Calling all Tudor fans, a replica of Francis Drake’s ship Golden Hind is for sale in Devon. The ship captured a Spanish galleon in the 16th century, laden with the equivalent of £480 million in pesos
As tales of swashbuckling adventure go, Sir Francis Drake’s expeditions are hard to beat. And he must have dined out on this story for quite some time. On 1 March 1579, his sailing ship Golden Hind captured the Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de la Concepción (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception) in Ecuador – and with it 360,000 pesos, the equivalent of £480 million today. The treasure – which included 26 tons of silver, half a ton of gold, jewellery, coins and jewels – took six days to move between the ships.
Sir Francis returned to Plymouth Harbour in September the following year. More than half the treasure went to queen and country – the queen being Queen Elizabeth I – and paid off the whole of the year’s national debt. With plenty to spare. The ship then went on display at the dockyard at Deptford, southeast London. It stayed there until 1650, when it rotted away and was eventually broken up.
But all was not lost. There are now two fine replicas. A full-size reconstruction lives near London Bridge in Southwark. Launched in 1973, Golden Hinde – with an e – has sailed more than 225,000km. She has been to San Francisco, Japan and the Caribbean.
Another is moored in Brixham, Devon. And it’s now for sale. This one was finished in 1988. It was built to replace on win the same location which sank in stormy seas in 1987. (The latter starred in the 1960s TV series Sir Francis Drake, filmed nearby.) The ship, which is slightly smaller than the original Golden Hind but still of respectable proportions for a Tudor galleon, is based on a steel barge and, sadly, could never sail. It also doesn’t have a gun deck. It is, however, a very convincing likeness and would look good in any Tudor reenactments or photos. Plus, it also attracts thousands of visitors a year.
The ship, which is being sold by Neil Worrell who ran it with his late wife as a tourist attraction, is for sale for offers over £399,000 through South West commercial agents Bettesworths.