Video: The Smugglers Headquarters

Richard Vobes is the Bald Explorer and in this short clip he visits the Oak and Ivy pub in Hawkhurst in Kent.Back in the 1740’s it was the den of the notorious Hawkhurst Gang, a large and violent bunch of smugglers who arranged and oversaw the illicit bringing in of contraband on the Romney Marshes and the transportation of the luxury goods to London.

You crossed the gang at your peril as they were known for murder and brutality among other things.

The pub is now a family friendly venue with some great beer, super food and a very friendly landlord. Check it out at

4 Replies to “Video: The Smugglers Headquarters”

  1. Richard – great looking pub! You might want to edit out the expression “70% proof” though as to the best of my knowledge there is no such thing!

    It is either 70 proof – which translates to 35% alcohol, or it is actually 70% alcohol – which translates to 140 proof!

    Yes , I know, just being picky ! Sometimes I can’t help myself!

  2. It sure is an interesting topic. The old English of the 1740’s which is the period I am looking at referred to the smugglers having drinks like brandy at 70% proof and then letting it down with water.

    Terms may well have changed since then.

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