Drake Way

On the corner of Drake Way, where it meets Radford Park Road, we find The Drake’s Drum pub, one of two local hostelries commemorating the area’s most celebrated sea captain, the other being the Golden Hind, named after Drake’s best known ship (the Golden Hinde), which in turn was originally known as the Pelican. Drake had the vessel renamed in deference to the coat of arms of his friend at Court, Sir Christopher Hatton, who was a major investor in Drake’s voyage of circumnavigation.

Curiously enough one of the first ever ships that Drake ventured out in, on an individually organised venture, was called the Dragon, doubtless in deference on this occasion to his own family name – Drake – which is believed to have derived not from the waterfowl but the Anglo-Saxon “draca”, which in turn came from the Latin “draco” meaning dragon. Several families of Drakes have the wyvern or two-legged dragon on their arms and Drake himself became known on the continent as El Draco – the dragon – as his notoriety and fame spread. In a fanciful piece of poetic propaganda Lope de Vega produced the epic poem La Dragontea in 1598. In it he described Drake’s last voyage and wretched end, the title page depicting Drake, the dragon, succumbing to the Spanish eagle.