Fort Nelson invaded by Anglo Saxons for a weekend of child-friendly activities

A 19th century fort has been invaded by Anglo Saxon warriors who have set up camp for the weekend.

Thursday, 25th July 2019, 1:54 pm
Updated Sunday, 28th July 2019, 8:43 pm
Viking horseworman. Invasion! Saxon warriors event at Fort Nelson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (270719-37)

Fort Nelson, in Portchester, has welcomed to its grounds a settlement from the reenactment society Regia Anglorum, with volunteers staging sword fights, offering axe throwing lessons to children, and teaching historical craft skills.

More than 20 volunteers have camped overnight to offer a weekend of activities.

Roland Williamson, Business Manager for the reenactment society, said it was the first time the group had visited the Fort, with the visit being 'a huge success.'

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Viking horseworman. Invasion! Saxon warriors event at Fort Nelson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (270719-37)

He said: 'Everyone has been really interested in how people lived more than a thousand years ago.

'And of course, people love the combat displays.

'The weapons are blunted rather than left sharp, otherwise we would go through our members quite quickly.

Ten-year old Oliver Koga was able to try his hand at axe throwing, which he said was 'a lot harder than it looks.'

He said: 'I loved the fighting - I would like to do this when I'm older.

'The tents make it really feels like you have gone back in time.'

The weekend is part of the museum's 'Invasion!' series of events, previously featuring a Napoleonic Wars themed activities during the Easter holidays in April.

Fort Nelson Visitor Services Manager, LIzzie Puddick, said:

'We have not done a huge amount of work with costumed actors before, so this is has been a bit of trial.

'Usually people stay an hour or two - this weekend we have a lot of people staying here three or four hours.

'People definitely seem to engage more with people in costume.'

Regia Anglorum will be at the Fort today (Sunday July 28), with free admission to the camp and £3 for six shots of either axe of spear throwing.

The 'Invasion!' series will continue with a weekend of activities when the Butser IX legion reenactment group visits on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September.

The Fort’s Café 1871 and Kiosk will be open throughout the summer from 10am to 5pm each day.

Admission to the Fort is free, with parking costing £3.