An island just off the coast of Britain has gone on the market with a guide price of £6 million.
Bought for only £384,000 in 1995 by current owner Dan McCauley, a businessman, Drake’s Island is a 6.5 acre island lying the heart of Plymouth Sound – the stretch of water south of the city of Plymouth, Devon.
The island includes an extensive underground tunnel network, according to property agent JLL, which is dealing with the sale.
Named after Sir Francis Drake, who set sail from there in 1577 to circumnavigate the globe, the fortress island has been used as a religious centre, a prison during the reign of Charles II and, most recently, as an adventure training facility which closed nearly 30 years ago.
The island has remained untouched since then.
McCauley’s son Aidan, 48, said his father, a former chairman of Plymouth Argyle football club, described it as “the jewel in the crown of Plymouth”.
“My dad has long held a vision to see the island brought back into use,” he said. “We are passionate about seeing his vision turned into a reality and are exploring all options to make this happen.”
John Kinsey, a director at JLL in Exeter, said: “Drake’s Island is a remarkable piece of British history and a much-loved landmark that the Plymouth community holds close to its heart.”
In spring 2017, Plymouth City Council granted planning permission to create a luxury hotel complex including the conversion of the existing buildings.
The listing describes the island as “an outstanding opportunity to develop a piece of maritime history in Plymouth Sound”.