The Guns of Prussia’s Cove

Cornwall is almost synonymous with smuggling and few late C18 smuggling families are more famous than the Carters of Prussia’s (now Prussia) Cove. They, and their associates like the Dunkin brothers, were a constant cause for concern for the Customs Officers of Penzance. To make matters difficult, the Carter’s base at Porth Trenowles was not only out of sight of the Customs Officers but also guarded by a battery of 4lb cannons which were more than enough to frighten off anyone who came too close.

As part of our focus on C18 smuggling in and around Mount’s Bay, Tony Pawlyn has tracked down the history of the Prussia’s Cove battery, revealing a series of incidents which throw a light on the reality of smuggling and the ambivalent relationship between the authorities and the smugglers and privateers.