Discovering the Smuggler's Coast

Published on: 8 May 2015

Postgraduate student Derek Janes explains how his research centred on the fishing port of Eyemouth in Berwickshire, Scotland led to the creation of an interpreted trail along the Berwickshire Coast which delves into the area’s murky history of smuggling.

The film, which was funded through the Exeter Catalyst Seed Fund Award, explains the story of Gunsgreen House, which was built by merchant smuggler John Nisbet in 1753. At the time the house was a very extravagant addition to the area for Nisbet, who in his day was viewed as we might see a gangster today.

Derek began his PhD after discovering a wealth of material relating to smuggling along the Berwickshire Coast, which had largely been undiscovered or looked into. Having uncovered evidence of 115 smuggling incidents, Derek was inspired to use this material to develop a walking trail along the existing coastal path to engage visitors in real life smuggling events that took place along the coastline. To do this, Derek worked in partnership with National Trust for Scotland and the Gunsgreen House Trust to develop and publicise the trail and has been able to connect the local landscape and wildlife with a dramatic history of smuggling.

The film discusses the potential impacts of Derek’s research on the local community and partner organisations. For more information on the Smuggler’s Coast visit the Gunsgreen website.

Related links

» Catalyst project

» Gunsgreen House

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