Cornwall: Walking Through History

Cornwall: Walking Through History

Series 2

ADVERTISEMENT

Review

Here’s a splendid statistic: in the 1780s, half of the brandy drunk in Britain had been smuggled through Cornwall. It’s on this golden age of smuggling that Tony Robinson focuses, as this week he directs his scholarly footsteps along the coastline between Plymouth and Falmouth.

The tiny harbours, beaches and secluded coves of the area were ideal for illicit imports; Robinson hears how at one stage in the late 18th century the smuggling business became so huge it threatened the national economy. But the government gradually turned the screws on the criminals and in the end, the Cornish themselves decided their trade was immoral as well as illegal.

Summary

Tony Robinson takes a four-day trek along the coastline between Plymouth in Devon and Falmouth, learning about the thriving smuggling trade in Cornwall during the late 18th century. The area's tiny secretive harbours, beaches and secluded coves were ideal for illicit imports such as tobacco and brandy, and the business was so huge it threatened the national economy. Along his route, visiting such beauty spots as Lantic Bay and Polperro, he encounters all sorts of reminders of the trade and meets descendants of those involved.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Tony Robinson
Director Andy Robbins
Executive Producer Philip Clarke
Producer Andy Robbins
Series Producer Owen Rodd
Education