Gilbert Court

In a recently developed corner of Chaddlewood, Plympton, we find a group of three streets named after Elizabethan noblemen Walsingham, Raleigh and Gilbert Courts.Gilbert honours sixteenth century Devon born navigator Sir Humphrey Gilbert who was also a half brother of Raleigh.

Having obtained a much-coveted patent from Queen Elizabeth I to ‘discover and possess’ remote ‘heathen lands not actually possessed by Christian princes or people’, Sir Humphrey led various unsuccessful expeditions, including an attempt with Raleigh to plant a colony near the West Indies.

His final project, in 1583, to colonise Newfoundland was moderately successful, although on his return to England the forty-six year-old seafarer was drowned as his ship, the Squirrel, sank leaving the Golden Hind to head home the fleet.

Gilbert Lane, cutting through Central Park, also appears to be named after this man and indeed it is close by other streets named after famous sea-going explorers (Scott and Furneaux) however it predates the others significantly and there may be another explanation.