Ye Olde Smugglers Inne, Alfriston
Partially dating from 1358, and originally known as The Market Cross Inn or Market Cross House, this public house changed its name in the 1920’s and now reflects its association with Stanton Collins, the leader of the Alfriston gang and their smuggling activities.
The Alfriston gang were renowned smugglers and although this building may or may not have been their headquarters, it was inherited in the 1820’s by Stanton Collins from his father who was a butcher and ran his shop and abbatoir here. Although there is a story that Stanton pushed an Excise Man over a cliff, he was eventually captured and sentenced to seven years transportation for stealing barley. He departed Portsmouth aboard the Lord William Bentinck I, on 7 May 1832 and his trade was recorded as Butcher, though I beleive the building was by then being used as a bar or almshouse.
Wherever smugglers are involved you tend to find ghost stories, many of which were no doubt invented to scare people away from the areas in which they were operating. However, there are said to be reports of haunt like activity at this Inn in recent times. Such as in 1994 when the owner of the Inn saw an apparition of a woman described as wearing modern clothing at the foot of the stairs.