Be a Smuggler!

Workshop length: 1 hour

Suitable for: KS1-3

You’re a smuggler in 18th century Folkestone! Explore the difference between a pirate and a smuggler, why smuggling was rife in Folkestone and what methods the smugglers used to land contraband! Find out about infamous local smuggling gangs, the methods they used to avoid detection and the government response to the smuggling trade. The longer workshop will also explore how smugglers have been represented since their heyday and the role of smuggling today.

During the workshop, you can:

• Find out how smugglers hid their contraband

• Try on a ‘smuggler’s kit’

• Trace trade routes for contraband material

• Examine original documents and images

• Role play a real smuggler’s trial


Pre-visit: Pupils to understand the difference between smuggling and piracy.

Post-visit: Class can write a story about a smuggler or create a drawing. Alternatively, the class could research a local smuggler (name can be provided) and create a newspaper report on his or her activities.

National curriculum links:

History (Local History)
Crime & Punishment

• Pupils learn about significant historical events, people and places in their own locality

• Pupils will identify similarities and differences between ways of life in different periods

• Pupils will learn about events beyond living memory.

KS2 – 3
• Pupils will make a local history study

• Pupils will make a study of an aspect or theme in British history that extends their chronological knowledge beyond 1066

• A study of an aspect of history dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant to the locality