Victorian Life at Fort Nelson


February Half Term
Monday 17 – Friday 21 February 2014

10.30am until 4pm

History comes to life at Royal Armouries Museum Fort Nelson this February half term as Victorian children’s lives go under the spotlight.

Tread in the footsteps of the Fort’s 19th-century schoolchildren by heading back to the classroom – as well as sampling Victorian games and crafts.

The Fort is an ideal setting for the fun, interactive sessions as soldiers were billeted at the Fort during the 19th century, along with their families and children. As the Army relied on servicemen’s sons as a valuable source of recruits, they invested heavily in youngsters’ education and operated a classroom, alongside the living quarters.

Familiy activities – Daily
Tickets cost £4 per child and give access to 3 Victorian themed areas. Accompanying adults go free
Suitable for ages 3 – 12
Pay on the door


School’s out for half term but it’s no holiday for pupils in our Victorian schoolroom. Come and practice the three ‘Rs’ under the watchful eye of our strict teacher. Will you have to wear the dunce’s hat?

Have a go at writing with chalk and slates, learn about the British Empire, but don’t forget your homework – a special activity trail to help you explore the Fort.


There’ll be a whole host of traditional Victorian games for all the family to enjoy including skittles, marbles, cup and ball, spinning tops and pop guns.

Outside you can play hopscotch, hoop and stick, skipping, quoits and hobbyhorse riding.


Children can try their hands at Victorian themed craft activities to make and take, including thaumatropes (a spinning optical illusion), jumping jacks, tumbling men and spinning tops.


This week’s featured gun is a 16-pounder rifle-muzzle loader. You can experience the power and might of this Victorian veteran every day at 1pm.

Dating to 1873, this British rifled-muzzle, loading gun was a heavier version of the 9-pounder issued to the Royal Horse Artillery and saw long service with the Artillery Volunteers. The 16-pounders were usually based at forts, and could be used for field operations against an attack.

The gun will be fired on Sunday 23 February at 1pm by a uniformed contingent from the Portsdown Artillery Volunteers.