Big guns to come out at night

A RARE after-hours opportunity will allow visitors to explore Fort Nelson and experience the power and might of the big guns at night.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 28th April 2017, 5:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:41 pm
Portsdown Artillery volunteers firing the mighty 32 pounder gun in the North Caponier of Fort Nelson
Portsdown Artillery volunteers firing the mighty 32 pounder gun in the North Caponier of Fort Nelson

Royal Armouries will participate in the national Museums at Night campaign with an evening of events.

Held on Friday, May 19, it will showcase guns from the Royal Armouries’ national collection of artillery featuring Victorian and Second World War weapons.

Visitors will be able to experience how the museum’s character and atmosphere changes during twilight hours.

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There will be exclusive after-hours access to some of the unseen subterranean areas of Fort Nelson including the rarely opened and eerie underground West tunnel.

Visitors will be guided through the underground main tunnel to the North Caponier to experience the ground shake as the immense power of the 32-pounder Victorian gun is released in an explosion of sound and smoke by uniformed detachment Portsdown Artillery Volunteers.

There is the opportunity to witness the Second World War Sexton field gun, fired by uniformed detachment Ubique Right of the Line.

Costumed characters will provide presentations and handling sessions in the fort’s Artillery Hall and kitchen where visitors will be able to find out what Victorian garrison life was like for soldiers stationed at the Royal Armouries Fort Nelson during the Second World War.

In the hospital gallery, visitors will have the opportunity to experience the sights and smells of traditional Victorian medicine, examine a replica medicine bag and its contents and discover more about the pioneering work of Florence Nightingale.

Operations manager Nigel Hosier said: ‘Museums at Night is a special opportunity to experience parts of the fort which are not usually accessible as well as the live firings and costumed characters from the forts past – it is just like stepping back in time.’

Doors open at 6pm. Tickets are £5 for adults and £3 for children. To book call 01329 233734.