Monday 15 April 2013

St Clements Caves at Hastings

Last week I had a few days away with my wife and youngest daughter in Hastings in Kent East Sussex. We've been there before but its been a few years and we were hoping to get a little bit of Easter sunshine. Alas the sun didn't shine on us but it didn't rain either so I guess we have to be thankful for that. One of the places we visited was the Smugglers Adventure in the St Clements Caves. This underground museum tells the story of Smuggling in Kent with plenty of hands on attractions for the kids. A few things jumped out at me (and not just large spiders and the ghosts of dead pirates) as we walked around this attraction so here are a handful of pictures. 

This large Diorama (8ft long by 4ft high) shows a battle between the Preventative Service and a group of Smugglers who have just landed their contraband goods. This might make for an interesting skirmish wargame.
The uniform of a Cruiser Commander in the Preventative Service c1810
The uniform of a Dragoon Officer  of the 6th Inniskilling c1811 who were stationed in Kent and  tasked with assisting the Preventative Service in their efforts against smugglers
A carving of Churchill by Alan Bennett in 1974
Montgomery by Alan Bennett. This carving has been damaged by graffiti unfortunately
Many organised gangs operated smuggling operations along the south cost. Their business eventually dried up with the relaxation of import taxes. Many smugglers however then plied their trade smuggling spies (British and French) during the Napoleonic wars
Smuggling was big business and many local people were involved as Pot Runners. 
There is an element of fantasy about this 'attraction' but there is also plenty of source material to see if you are interested in smuggling in Kent. Its a bit pricey to get in, but even with a frightened child in tow you'll easily waste and hour or more inside.


  1. Thaks for the tour. I really enjoyed it.

    1. HASTINGS IS NOT IN KENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. Your quite right,i'll correct it...

  2. Very interesting post. This could make for a very fun scenario; especially smuggling a spy.


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