Historic pub goes on the market for less than £80,000

Smugglers Inn, Alfriston. SUS-151014-221051008
Smugglers Inn, Alfriston. SUS-151014-221051008

The famous Smugglers Inn, Alfriston will soon have new landlords.

The remaining 13 year lease of the historic timbered pub - reputed to have been the haunt of smugglers - is on the market with agents Rightmove at a guide price of £79,950.

The building has four letting bedrooms (one en-suite) and extensive owner’s accommodation.

But possibly of greater interest to potential buyers is the building’s history.

Current landlord Cliff Nicholson said: “It’s such an intriguing place. It was first built in 1358 when it was a slaughterhouse and butcher’s shop for the village. It was converted into a pub in 1860 and has been central to the community ever since. There’s about 20 rooms in total - I have to count them - and there are supposed to be secret passages all over the place to the river and the church.

“Smugglers from Crowlink used to import gin from Dunkerque, bring it up the Cuckmere and then sell it to merchants in London. The famous Alfriston gang worked hand in glove with the Hawkhurst gang and everyone was in the pay of the London merchants.

“There are also three ghosts - a couple who sit on the bench in the fireplace; a woman who walks down from the kitchen but you can’t see her feet because the floor was raised and another one who looks out onto the garden from the top floor window.”

Cliff is hoping to have a bit more time to spend with his two grandchildren. “It’s been brilliant but enough is enough. We live in France now and we also have a place in Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne.”

But he’ll miss the customers: “The Smugglers used to be the first stopping point for thirsty commuters getting off the London train at Berwick. There’s been a fair bit of interest in the business so far and I’ll miss it.”

The Smugglers Inn has a lounge bar, dining area, snug, conservatory restaurant and commercial kitchen. Outside is a lawned beer garden and patio. The building came under the scrutiny of Rory McGrath for a Channel 5 TV programme when the inn’s history was unearthed.

The agents say they are advised that current sales are circa £250,000.

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