The rugged coastline of Cornwall has long been associated with smuggling. The
high cliffs and secret coves made it difficult and dangerous for the Revenue
Service to patrol effectively.
Armed smugglers’ vessels of 250 tons could transport
cargos of contraband worth up to £10,000 a time, when a labouring man’s
earnings were no more than £20 a year.
At one stage, half of all the brandy smuggled into England came in along
the coast of Cornwall but high rewards came with high risks. Today’s fishing
villages and holiday beaches were once the background for conspiracy, bribery,
intimidation and murder.
The Cornishmen who organised smuggling were well known and largely
condoned by local communities who stood to gain from their activities.
centre of smuggling operations was the local pub which served as a meeting
place, storage facility, distribution depot and valued customer.
This superbly-illustrated guide features a significant number of authentic pubs
from St Ives to Falmouth patronised over two centuries ago by Cornish ‘free
traders’. In these wonderful old buildings with their low-beamed ceilings, flagstone
floors, inglenook fireplaces and secret hiding places one can sense the
desperate days of smuggling’s golden era.
Imprint: PiXZ, ISBN 978 0 85710 108 2, hardback, 210x148mm, 128 pages. Published 2017.