Although a cliché, the phrase ‘must see’ truly applies to Fort Nelson’s astonishing collection of different artillery and guns from different time periods. Over 700 items of artillery from many countries and spanning 600 years are brought to life whilst sensitively telling the unique stories behind them.
Built between 1860 and 1870, Fort Nelson, along with Fort Wallington, Fort Southwick, Fort Widley, and Fort Purbrook were one of the biggest defense projects ever undertaken in Britain, Fort Nelson and the other Portsdown forts were dedicated to provide the fire power to deter an enemy attack on Portsmouth from inland, although it never saw action against the French.
The Royal Armouries Museum was opened in 1984 for the first time, and today is one of the largest artillery museums in the UK.
Admission and parking are free – offering a great day out for all the family during the school holidays, and all year round.
· On selected Sundays throughout the year there are special firings, featuring authentic gun drills by uniformed detachments from Portsdown Artillery Volunteers. These events are free and everyone is welcome.
· A breath taking glass-sided gallery – The Voice of the Guns – showcasing some of the Royal Armouries’ most famous exhibits. One of the most celebrated pieces of artillery is a 15th century Turkish Bombard which was gifted to Britain by the Turkish Government.
· Exciting galleries, which sensitively tell the history of the fort and the people and stories that shaped history.
· State-of-the-art education centre – allowing children to see the past spring to life in a historic setting, but harnessing the latest technology.
· Visitor centre – including Café 1871, which is open to passers-by and walkers.
Fort Nelson is also licensed for weddings and has a large range of function rooms for private or corporate hire.
|Winter Opening Hours (1 Nov 2019 - 31 Mar 2020)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:00||- 16:00*|
|Summer Opening Hours (1 Apr 2020 - 31 Oct 2020)|
|Monday - Sunday||10:00||- 17:00*|
* Closed 24, 25 and 26 December.
Last admission 1hr before close.
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