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Fort Nelson

1878: The war that never was

Experience an alternative history
7th February - 6:00 pm - 8th February - 9:00 pm

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A live-action promenade performance that takes you on a time-travelling journey back to the Victorian era, to experience life under siege as the garrison struggles to repel the dreaded French invasion.

Fort Nelson was built between 1861 and 1870 as part of a network of defences intended to protect the key British naval base at Portsmouth when a French invasion had been considered a serious possibility. Buried in the Downs, designed using cutting edge defensive technology and bristling with artillery, the Fort waited for a war that never actually happened.

Step back in time and find out if the Fort was up to the task in a war that never happened.

The story so far…
Buoyed by its victory against Prussia in 1871, the French superpower is set on adding Great Britain to its empire. French troops have landed and are marching on Portsmouth. The home of the British navy must be defended at all costs.

Fort Nelson’s underground garrison is waiting nervously for news of the French invasion; fending off the first exploratory attacks, and discovering that not everyone within the walls of the Victorian fort are as trustworthy as they seem…

This interactive event will give visitors an insight into all of the grit, blood and noise that would have occurred in the event of such an attack, including live-action big gun firing demonstrations, dramatic acted pieces and a chance to meet lots of interesting characters along the way.

Adventurers are advised that this is a guided promenade performance through the underground tunnels and chambers of the Fort. The ground is often uneven and it gets cold down there, so please wear suitable footwear and clothing. There will be live gun-firings during the performance; ear-protectors will be available.

Performances at 6.30pm, 7.30pm & 8.30pm each evening

This is an evening event suitable for ages 12+. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Tickets cost £16 and must be booked in advance.