Barn Pool, Plymouth Sound

Barn Pool - A beautiful anchorage 

Getting there - Barn Pool, Plymouth Sound - we talk pilotage, tides and shelter and what you can expect when you get there.

Nestled under Mount Edcumbe and surrounded by Drakes Island and Devils Point; Barn Pool anchorage is stepped in history.

This quiet bay has witnessed a great number of events from viking ships readying sail to American troops embarking for the D-Day landings. The wreck of the Catherina von Flensburg (wrecked 1786) sits in 30m between Ravenness Point and ‘The Bridge’ lateral marks.

Arguably the most famous was ‘The Beagle’ with Charles Darwin aboard. She lay at anchor in Barn Pool at the end of 1831 whilst Captain Robert Fitz Roy waited for a favourable North Easterly wind. After a couple of months at anchor and two false starts, including hitting a rock off Drakes Island, the Beagle finally departed on its five year world voyage on December 27th 1831.


Plymouth Sound has a 4.7m tidal range at springs, the resulting tidal flow can become strong at times.

Barn Pool, Plymouth SoundBarn Pool is located to the West of Drakes Island.

The approach is straightforward using either the wide channel to the North of Drakes Island or the clearly marked ‘Bridge’ channel to the South West of the Island.

Make sure you stick between the lateral markings through ‘The Bridge’ channel to stay clear of rocks and shallow water.

Ravenness Point at the Southern extreme of Barn Pool has a lit marker post and to the North the distinctive low circular building of the Battery is visible at Wilderness Point.

Upon entering the anchorage, the beach shelves steeply; the 2m contour line is close to the shore and in places the 20m contour line is less than 25 yards further out.

Barn Pool chart

What’s there

Barn Pool has good holding, there have in the past been reports of anchor fouling so it may be worth using a trip line. It is possible to land on the beach but remember to lift your dinghy above the high water line on a rising tide.

Once ashore you are in the midst of the 865 acre Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, where you can find; the National Camellia Collection, formal gardens, The Orangery restaurant and a nearby pub, The Edgecumbe Arms. Mount Edgcumbe house, first built in the 1500s is open Sunday to Thursday from April until October (admission charged).

Tides and shelter

Plymouth’s tidal range is between 2.2 and 4.7 metres. Barn Pool offers good shelter from South West to North West winds.




BA 5602 folio
BA 871


Name Phone
Mount Edgecumbe House & Country Park 01752 822236
The Edgecumbe Arms  01752 822294


Charts C14  are reproduced with the kind permission of Imray.    Chart copyright UKHO.

© Crown Copyright and/or database rights. Reproduced by permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and the UK Hydrographic Office ( This material is not for resale, redistribution or copying.  Not to be used for navigation.

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Article Published: July 21, 2011 14:39

Article Updated: July 22, 2011 12:16


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