While many of the villages around the North West corner of West Sussex were haunts of smugglers and largely lawless areas, Rake’s notoriety is the result of its connection with the murder of Daniel Chater and William Galley in 1748 and what happened at Rake’s Red Lion pub on the night of February 15th.
The two men were thought to be on the point of identifying members of a powerful Sussex smuggling gang.
Nearly half dead from the beatings they had received, were brought to the pub in the dead of night and their fates were discussed.
Soon afterwards the two men were brutally murdered by the smugglers.
This event is remembered because it brought about a famous trial in Chichester, commemorated by the Smugglers Stone there, and the downfall of a large number of smuggling mobsters who had previously been untouchable.
These were not however the only murders to happen in the area around Rake, Liss Forest and Hill Brow in past times.
Travellers feared journeying in these parts as robbers, smugglers and chancers all looked to scratch a living at the expense of the unwary.
Rake is much less dangerous todayThankfully, the area is much richer today and visitors need have no worry of meeting a grisly end. Phew!
Map of the area
- Bognor Regis
- Burgess Hill
- East Grinstead
- Haywards Heath