Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Smugglers!

The rain did hold off.

We went round the Smugglers' Adventure in Hastings aka St Clement's Caves- which is partly small local museum and partly Chamber of Horrors. The caves- in the West Hill, under the castle- are natural but got themselves enhanced in the early 19th century by an entrepreneur who went to work with pick and shovel and carved out a circular space he called the Ballroom- which was used as such by Hastings society- and a long, alcoved gallery he called the Monk's Walk- which is straight out of a novel by Mrs Radcliffe. Before his time they were used by troglodytes and smugglers and courting couples. The displays are a mix of authentic historical detritus (from which you can learn quite a bit about smuggling in the 18th century) and life-sized tableaux of people being beaten to death and stabbed through the vitals and all that sort of thing. The lighting is garish and one could spend months- years even- decoding the several centuries worth of graffiti that covers every surface. Aria, who is four, wanted to go round a second time.

We rode down to sea level on the West Hill lift. Hastings was quiet after the overload of Bank Holiday Monday- and we got a table in the Old Pump House on King Street- which is timber-framed and quaint and usually full to overflowing. Their Captain's Pie is rather wonderful.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments