Marking the Battle of Trafalgar - Monday, 15 October 2012

The Royal Armouries marks Lord Nelson’s famous victory at the Battle of Trafalgar next Sunday (October 21) with the firing of a 207-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 Fort Nelson, near Fareham, at 12 noon and 3pm to mark Trafalgar Day.

Fort Nelson – home to the national collection of artillery – will ring to the sound of the original 1805-dated muzzle-loading, sea service cannon, used commonly on Royal Naval ships at Trafalgar, including HMS Victory.

Fort operations manager Nigel Hosier said, “The crew will wear uniform dating to the period – 1805 – and the gun firings promise to be quite a spectacle.”

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, next to the Royal Armouries Museum at Fort Nelson. The monument was paid for by the men of the fleet who fought at Trafalgar and from prize money.

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.

Museum admission and the gun firings are free.

As well as gun firings, visitors can explore the 19-acre Victorian fort and see the new galleries and visitor centre, including Café 1871. One of the highlights is the Voice of the Guns Gallery – showcasing 14 of the Royal Armouries’ most famous exhibits, including two sections of the Iraqi Supergun and the Turkish Bombard, dating to 1464.

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Notes to editors

To find Fort Nelson, follow the brown Tourist signs from the M27. The Fort is open seven days a week, from 10am to 5pm.

Download the PDF press release.