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View of Freshwater Cave

View of Freshwater Cave

Medium: Watercolour with pen and ink

Date: 1796

Shelfmark: K top Vol 15

Item number: 28.d

Length: 25.7

Width: 36

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Drawing

View of a group of smugglers at Freshwater Cave in the Isle of Wight. The cave, which is naturally formed, is situated on the south westerly coast of the island and is approximately twenty feet high, thirty five feet wide and one hundred and twenty feet deep. The entrance to the cave can only be reached when the tide was low and even then the surrounding rocks made access very difficult. The smuggling trade in England reached its peak in the 18th century when taxes on goods such as salt made life very difficult. Smuggled goods known as ‘contraband’ often landed on secluded beaches and would then be hidden in caves along the shoreline.

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