Trafalgar Day gun marks anniversary at Fort Nelson - Thursday, 14 October 2010
Trafalgar Day – marking one of Britain’s greatest Naval victories – will be commemorated at Fort Nelson later this month with the firing of a 205-year-old gun, of the kind used on board HMS Victory in 1805.
A uniformed crew of sailors will fire the restored 12-pounder gun at the Royal Armouries’ fort near Fareham, at 12 noon and 3pm on Trafalgar Day (Thursday, October 21) and again on Sunday, October 24, as part of a two-day event to mark the great battle.
The gun firings will be followed by a live performance by one of the Fort’s resident actors, Tim Lowe, acting as an 1805 sailor giving an “eyewitness” account.
There will also be a Trafalgar Day service at 11am on Trafalgar Day only (Thursday, October 21), held jointly with The Nelson Society, conducted by a Naval Chaplain from HMS Collingwood. This will include a minute’s silence, honouring the 205th anniversary of the Admiral’s death at the Battle of Trafalgar.
Horatio, Lord Nelson, has held a special place in local people’s hearts for over 200 years – and his monument stands proudly on Portsdown Hill, opposite the Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson. The monument was paid for by the sailors – including large donations by many of his men.
Nelson masterminded the defeat of the French and Spanish from his ship HMS Victory, now docked at nearby Portsmouth. The battle cost him his life, as he died onboard after being hit by a French sniper’s bullet. The victory at Trafalgar meant that Britain was safe from invasion and was the world’s strongest naval power for many years.
Fort Operations Manager Mark Selwood said: ‘We enjoy marking the event as there are links between the Fort and Lord Nelson as the fort was built to protect against possible invasion from the French and is named after him. The carriage of the gun we fire is painted in the colours of HMS Victory and is the type of artillery used on the top gun deck of the ship, so it is very possible that it saw some action at Trafalgar.
‘The battle saw Nelson spectacularly defeat the French and Spanish navies, removing the threat of possible invasion of Britain – so we have much to be thankful for.’
Further details of this and the full Royal Armouries’ Dangerously Entertaining Events calendar by visiting:
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Tel: 07838 379599
Notes to editorsFacilities will be somewhat limited at the Fort on Trafalgar Day, as electricity supplies will be switched off, as a planned part of the £3.5m project to transform Fort Nelson into a state-of-the-art museum. The main Redan barrack block building and tunnels will be closed, but visitors will still be able to access parade, ramparts, ditch and Artillery Hall. All daily events will still go ahead, and the refreshments kiosk will be offering a basic service (the cafe will be shut). The museum will close at 4pm that day.
- The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson houses the national collection of historic cannon and big guns. The museum houses one of the world’s finest collections with over 350 cannon dating back over 600 years. The collection originated at HM Tower of London and has been on display in Hampshire since 1995.
- The Royal Armouries at Fort Nelson also tells the story of the Palmerston Forts, built to protect Portsmouth from a feared French invasion in the 1860’s.
- Every day, visitors can see one of the big guns fired in salute, watch our resident actors bring to life characters from 1,000 years of history, explore secret underground tunnels and enjoy incredible views from the ramparts. An extensive programme of special event spectaculars takes place throughout the year.
- Fort Nelson is open every day except 24-26 December. April to October 10am –5pm (Wed 11am-5pm), November – March 10.30am – 4pm (Wed 11.30-4pm).
- Admission to the Royal Armouries is FREE.
- Admission charges apply to some events.
- Information line: 01329 233734
- Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- Email: email@example.com
- The Royal Armouries is the national museum of arms and armour with sites at Fort Nelson, Leeds, HM Tower of London and Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business.