This street name bears testimony to the Smuggling trade within Chichester Harbour, for many years illegal contraband landed here. It is said that every port or village in West Sussex has some sort of association with the widespread smuggling which went on in the 18th and early 19th centuries in the county.
While many of the Sussex smuggling stories are fanciful, there is a large degree of truth in many of them for the simple reason that smuggling was a huge industry in West Sussex at least up until the 1820’s
While these stories may seem romantic, in truth the smugglers were a mixture of hardened criminals, enterprising businessmen and, mostly, frightened locals who were desperately poor and welcomed the extra few shillings a night’s smuggling could bring their families. Check out the Hawkhurst Gang it makes for very interesting reading.
Sadly this road, known locally as “Millionaires Road or the Expensive Seats”, has another sinister secret regarding the brutal murder of Valerie Graves, which is still unsolved. Let’s do hope they catch her killer.