We decided that the name should remain Smugglers Cottage as we loved the local mystery surrounding the name and thought that perhaps in the past smugglers may even have lived there, being long active in the area. From public records we discovered that mainly local mariners lived in the cottage in the distant past and that many mariners were involved with smuggling to some extent.
In Georgian Margate no holiday was complete without visiting the local smugglers who could supply the best French brandy to the gentlemen or latest Parisian fashion and lace to the ladies. The local ladies of Margate in those days were seemingly impeccably dressed in the latest French fashion, no doubt modelling the goods available to the wealthy “up from London” guests of the day. Local lodging houses were able to guide their guests to the best local smugglers upon request. Smuggling was a huge industry which seemingly even involved a fair bit of collusion with the local customs officials of the day.
Some amazing stories about the rise and fall of the local smugglers can be found on this excellent local history website and we are fascinated by the idea that these very smugglers could be somehow linked to the cottage!
The history we have been able to uncover shows that the “Smugglers Cottage” sign was on the wall next door with the name “Davy’s Locker” which was the name of a then bric-a-brac shop in the 1960’s until it closed and became a house (see picture). The sign moved to the cottage which would have therefore become “Smugglers Cottage” at least then, but was the cottage known by that name locally already? The cottage has been rebuilt and adapted many times over the years which can be seen throughout the property. In spring 2016 the newly refurbished cottage has started a new chapter in its long history when it opened as a holiday let.
Smugglers Cottage has been featured in the following paper and online magazines:
The Margate Curio - an online interiors and lifestyle blog by local interior photographer Jo Bridges.
The Margate Mercury Paper - Issue 1, Summer 2016, Page 12.
Sam Causer - You can read more about the project on our architects website.
Isle Magazine - July 2016, Pages 32-33 and 61.
Reverie a lifestyle and travel website and Instagram blog, January 2018.