A Night at the Museum – Fort Nelson by torchlight - Monday, 10 May 2010

Fort Nelson will resound to the sound of gunfire and muzzle flashes as the Royal Armouries fires a battery of guns to round off its Museum at Night event on Friday (May 14).

There’s a chance to view the atmospheric Fort – high on Portsdown Hill – by lantern light, as dusk falls, including shady and underground areas not normally open to the public.

Guns will be fired throughout the early evening, dating to the Napoleonic, Victorian, First World War and Second World War eras. The weapons, part of the Royal Armouries’ national collection of big guns and artillery, will then be fired simultaneously in a dramatic crescendo just before 9pm.

The Europe-wide event – which originated as Nuit des Musees in France – aims to showcase the continent’s diverse range of unique and vibrant museums, plus galleries, heritage sites, libraries and archives.

This is the first time that Fort Nelson has marked the Museum at Night event and doors will open at 6pm, after the museum shuts normally at 5pm.

A further attraction includes live performances by torchlight, courtesy of the Armouries’ team of resident, professional actors. These will include a new event, describing the last duel to be fought by Englishmen on British soil. The dramatic performance will demonstrate how the two faced each other with pistols at dusk – for the love of a lady – at Stokes Bay in Hampshire in 1845.

Museum entrance is free for adults and children – no need to book – just drop in.

For details of all forthcoming events – including school holiday low-cost events and Bank Holiday extravaganzas – visit the website at www.royalarmouries.org

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