Experience the power and might of the big guns at Fort Nelson on February 10 and March 17 during two free gun-firing demonstrations, featuring artillery from Victorian times.
The 19th century Fort will ring to the sound of the mighty weapons as uniformed members of the Portsdown Artillery Volunteers conduct gun-firing and drill demonstrations throughout both Sundays.

Royal Armouries’ Curator of Artillery Philip Magrath said, “Each demonstration will provide a fine example of the several different weapons that Fort Nelson and the Portsdown Hill Forts installed for garrison defence in the later Victorian period. Museum admission is free and it’s a fascinating day out for all the family.”

On Sunday, February 10, the uniformed detachment will fire a cast-iron, smooth-bore 32-pounder breech-loading gun, in the Fort’s North Caponier, three times throughout the day. This gun is dated 1883 and was recently featured in the BBC2 documentary Great British Railway Journeys, when it was fired by former Conservative minister and TV presenter Michael Portillo at the Fort.

The Portsdown Artillery Volunteers will be in action again on Sunday, March 17 when they fire the Fort’s 64-pounder. This gun is dated 1875 and is a British cast-iron, rifled muzzle-loading weapon, manufactured at the Royal Gun Factory, Woolwich.
It stands on an original Garrison Standing Carriage and can be found on the western ramparts at Fort Nelson.

Standing high on Portsdown Hill near Fareham, Fort Nelson showcases one of the world’s finest collections of artillery and cannon, from across the ages and from all corners of 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.

For more details about Fort Nelson, please visit

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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.