Worthing Smugglers’ Trail

Walking Tour – led by local Historian Chris Hare

I am always being asked about the history of smuggling in Worthing. Even though it is nearly two hundred years since the big contraband gangs operated in the town, those days are still recalled in Worthing’s rich folklore. I regularly meet people who are eager to tell me about a smugglers’ tunnel, or how one of their distant relatives was a smuggler. There is particular pride when the informant assures me they were related to John Olliver, the famous/ notorious smuggler of Highdown.
This walk will visit all the scenes of smuggling drama in Worthing. Don’t be surprised to find us leaving a main street to snake our way down twittens and forgotten alleys, just as the smugglers would have done two centuries ago. The trail will include details of the death of smugglers’ leader, William Cowerson. We will visit the actual spot where the fatal confrontation took place as well as the inn to which his body was taken to await the inquest into his death.


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