New-look Fort Nelson attracts thousands over Bank Holiday - Monday, 5 September 2011

More than 3,000 visitors flocked to the new-look Fort Nelson over the Bank Holiday weekend enjoying a free day for all the family.

A children’s entertainer helped put a smile on younger visitors’ faces – with attractions including face-painting and balloon modelling.

Many came to see the transformation at the Royal Armouries museum which in just under a year, has undergone a £3.5m redevelopment to create a museum fit for the 21st Century, supported by a grant of over £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

With glass sides and high ceilings, the new Voice of the Guns gallery has guaranteed “wow factor” and showcases 14 of the most famous exhibits, including two sections of the infamous Iraqi Super Gun, two anti-aircraft guns used to defend the South Coast, and the Great Turkish Bombard dating to 1464.

There are also social history galleries, exciting new interactives, and a 19-acre fort to explore – plus all the old favourites such as underground tunnels and ramparts with panoramic views over Portsmouth and the Meon Valley, and daily gun firings.

Built in the 1860s, the Portsdown Hill Fort is home to the national collection of artillery and historic cannon, with over 350 exhibits from all over the globe. The museum’s new galleries tell the fascinating stories of the objects, their history and the people who used them.

The collection originated at HM Tower of London and has been on display in Hampshire since 1995.

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Notes to editors