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This Golden Hind Replica Has Sailed Further Than the Original!

Updated on March 25, 2017

Sir Francis Drake sailed round the world between 1577 and 1580 in his ship the “Golden Hind”. He returned to England a wealthy man, largely due to his piratical behaviour towards the Spanish en route, and was able to repay his investors, including Queen Elizabeth I, many times over.

His ship went on public display in London, and was the first such ship to have that honour.

The ship in the photos, taken by me, is not Drake’s ship, as the original rotted away to nothing within 100 years, but a full-scale authentic replica that was built in Devon in 1973. It has sailed even further than Drake’s ship, notching up more than 140,000 miles in numerous voyages across the oceans, including a full circumnavigation of the world.

The replica is now moored permanently in a small dock, hemmed in by modern buildings, on Bankside near Southwark Cathedral and London Bridge. If you walk along the Thames Path on the south bank you will suddenly come across it as you turn a corner.

It is amazing to think that a ship as small as this could have carried 80 men around the world more than 400 years ago, but the voyage of the replica proved that it could be done.

The ship is now used mainly for educational purposes, with a fully costumed crew showing schoolchildren of all ages just what life was like on a 16th century sailing ship.


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    • Nathanville profile image

      Arthur Russ 6 months ago from England

      Thanks for the Golden Hind replica, it’s great to see these full size authentic replicas being built and used for educational purposes. I wasn’t aware of the Golden Hind replica, but it’s the sort of thing I and my family love visiting while on holiday or a day trip; so next time we’re in London it’s one place I’d like to go.

      Bristol did a similar thing in 1996 when they launched a full size replica of The Matthew, the famous ship built and used by John Cabot when he sailed from Bristol to discover Newfoundland, Canada in 1497. The Matthew, which is often docked at Bristol, also spends a lot of time sailing to other events e.g. we also recently saw it at Gloucester docks during their ‘Tall Ship’ festival.

      John Cabot's Discovery of America: