EAST SUSSEX SMUGGLERS’ PUBS
Readers of Terry Townsend’s many books on East Sussex smugglers’ pubs might wonder what other sort there are. It seems that most inns were commandeered by the ‘gentlemen’ in the 17th and 18th centuries when export duties threatened farmers and import duties were levied on tobacco, silk, brandy and tea.
Inns were a natural place to meet and an obvious store for contraband. They also served as a recruitment centre, distribution depot and valued customer.
Legends and characters became as numerous as hidden tunnels, and Townsend has enormous fun digging them out in this amply illustrated study.
Many a modern landlord is pictured happily pulling pints, perhaps unaware of the secret history beneath his feet or possibly engaged in some future legerdemain which tomorrow’s historians will have as much fun as the author in uncovering.