FIRE UP YOUR IMAGINATION THIS SUMMER AT FORT NELSON - Wednesday, 9 July 2014
Experience 1,000 years of firepower this summer as Royal Armouries stages its free Artillery in Action display at Fort Nelson – home to the big guns.
The fully-restored 19th century Fort will resound to the power and might of three of the mighty weapons in Royal Armouries’ national collection of artillery, as part of a great day out for all the family.
Fort Nelson, which underwent a major revamp in 2011, is home to more than 350 big guns – from pre-gunpowder siege machines to the massive 200-tonne railway gun. As well as a 19-acre site, with tunnels and ramparts to explore, there are plenty of activities to keep the children entertained from July 25 to August 31.
The Artillery in Action display runs during August only, with daily firings at 1pm. The featured weapons are:
This trebuchet is a small version of a great medieval siege engine and pre-dates the use of gunpowder. Large trebuchets were used to breach the masonry walls of fortified places with stone shot. This demonstration shoots an iron ball at a wooden target but other more grisly ammunition in the past, included hornets’ nests, diseased animal carcasses and even the severed heads of captured enemies.
Wrought Iron Breech Loading Gun
The new technology of the late Middle Ages arrived with a bang – and changed the world. The idea of using explosives to fire a projectile led eventually to the steam engine, the internal combustion engine and the space rocket. This is a replica based on gun recovered over 40 years ago from a shipwreck near Plymouth. Similar guns were on board the Mary Rose.
25-pounder Quick-Firing Gun Howitzer
Famous for its service during the Second World War, this particular gun was used by the Honourable Artillery Company to fire royal salutes at the Tower of London. The 25-pounder could fire to a distance of over seven miles. The usual detachment of six men could get the gun into action in just over a minute and fire one round every 12 seconds for a short period. It was renowned for its service during the North African Desert Campaign during the Second World War.
Fort operations manager Nigel Hosier said, “Fort Nelson offers a great day out for all the family, regardless of the weather – and parking and museum admission are absolutely free.
“Our daily gun firings are always very popular with visitors of all ages and our Artillery in Action display demonstrates how technology has changed and developed throughout the ages. The trebuchet is bound to be very popular, as it is similar to that featured in the highly successful film series, The Lord of the Rings.”
Other Summer activities include:
- Landings – photography exhibition focused on the D-Day Landings by Russell Squires until October 13 (free)
- Junior Assault Course July 25 – August 31, pay and play all day(£3.50, ages 3+)
- Guided tours – learn about the history of the fort and the people who lived and worked there (daily at 11.15am and 1.30pm, adults £3, under 16s go free)
- Handling Sessions – get up close to weapons and uniforms from one of the finest collections in the world with our experts (July 25 – August 31, free)
For more information and the latest news about Fort Nelson and the Royal Armouries:
Notes to editors
- Royal Armouries is the national museum of arms and armour and has sites in Leeds, HM Tower of London, Fort Nelson and Louisville, Kentucky. It is the first British national museum to open a permanent presence in another country
- Admission to the museum is free. However, there may be a small charge for some special events.
- Open all year daily, 10am-5pm. Closed 24-25 December
- Information Line: 0113 220 1999
- Website: www.royalarmouries.org
- The Royal Armouries Museum should not be confused with Royal Armouries International plc, the private sector corporate hospitality business.
- Background – Standing high on Portsdown Hill near Fareham, Fort Nelson showcases one of the world’s finest collections of artillery, down the ages and from across the globe. In 2011, this unique heritage attraction underwent a £3.5m redevelopment to create a museum for the 21st century, supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, complete with new galleries, state-of-the-art education centre and visitor facilities.