Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
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This is a contribution through the eyes of a child, by way of a drawing, from my granddaughter Miss Cerys Carder, aged 4 years 10 months. During April 2014, I was working away in my home office on this website when Cerys arrived and asked me to tell her a story.

So I told her the story about a very nasty man who was a smuggler and who lived at the Penarth Head Inn, a long time ago, before they pulled it down to build the docks. It used to be where the Customs House is today and I showed her the pictures of the Inn taken from the volume about the construction of the docks. He used to hide the things he smuggled in the cellars and the King's men were afraid of him.

Prior to the development of the tidal harbour and docks there stood an inn below Penarth Head. The Customs House was built on the site of the former Penarth Head Inn of 1730, the home of the notorious smuggler Edward Edwards “who lately had built a house by the harbour where there never was one before . . . . built with large cellars to store his goods.”

The Inn was situated at the head of a shingle beach sheltered from the prevailing winds and within easy reach of Cardiff; the “centre of villainy.” " Edwards was a “Victualler; an olde offender; with a design of defrauding the King of his Customs” according to the “Customs House Records, Letter Book of 1732-42.”

In 1738 there is an account of a small seizure of brandy made onboard a coasting vessel; “The King's Boat at Penarth is moored on his ground but never any acknowledgement paid and he has told the Surveyor that he will cut the moorings and let her go adrift, and likewise threatens the Officers or anybody else that will offer to come near the house in the night time; and the Officers have no other way to go to the harbour without passing close by his house."


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