This folk tale is about of group of smugglers carrying brandy barrels at night. Hearing an Excise Man (aka a Customs Officer) approaching, they quickly rolled the barrels into a nearby pond. When the danger was past, they set about getting them out again with a long rake.
But the suspicious Excise Man returned and demanded to know what they were doing. One smuggler pointed to the reflection of the moon in the water and replied that they were trying to rake out the cheese from the moon. Their story worked (the legend says!) and to this day, Wiltshire people are known as ‘Moonrakers’.
Image: Copyright Wiltshire Museum Image: BL-3334, Audio: Norman Rogers Audio_Moonrakers Legend