• Little Common

    Image ID
    RM Rights Managed
    Image Details
    Image File Attributes
    8.5 MB
    Image Dimensions
    3787 x 2525 px
    Image Print Size (at 300 ppi)
    321 x 214 mm
    12.6 x 8.4 in
    Visual Size @300ppi
    Little Common Bexhill-on-Sea East Sussex The Bexhill Smuggling Trail Inn one of the smugglers haunts Smugglers from the Little Common Gang stock image stock photo
    Little Common developed around the crossroads on the main road from Hastings to Pevensey. The Gillham family were carpenters in Little Common from about 1803 until 1860 and played an important part in the development of the village. They were also, until the 1830s, notorious smugglers. George Gillham (1773-1831) was the leader of the ruthless Little Common Gang, which operated two smuggling vessels, The Long Boat and The Princess Charlotte. When not in use these were concealed at a secret location near The Star at Normans Bay. Smugglers used nicknames to conceal their identities when plying their illegal trade and some of them are known for the Little Common Gang. George Gillham was known as "Smack", Thomas Gillham was "Peckham" and Thomas Shoesmith was "Boathook". It is said that they had a hideout in Gillham Wood, which they used when it was unsafe to return home. It is probable that the Little Common Gang was responsible for the murder of blockademan William Welch, whose body was washed up on Bexhill beach in 1824. It was rumoured that he had accepted a bribe from the gang to turn a blind eye to a smuggling run, but, when it landed, he was waiting with a group to seize the vessel. It put back out to sea but not before the crew had grabbed Welch, beaten and then drowned him.
    David Walker
    David Walker
    Date Taken
    Uploaded on
    United Kingdom - Kent & Sussex
    Sub Category
    Dominant colour