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Explore behind the scenes at Fort Nelson

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

rounded brick archway with iron gates

History-lovers will have the rare chance to see behind the scenes at Fort Nelson as part of a free Heritage Open Days event.

On September 17 and 18 visitors will be given free tours of three areas not usually open to the public – the Victorian Officers Quarters, West Tunnel and West Mortar Battery.

As part as part of this national festival of history and culture visitors, accompanied by an expert guide, will explore unseen areas of the Victorian fort.

All tours are free and last 30 minutes, with several running during the day. Numbers are limited to 16 people per tour and tours must be booked in advance.

Fort Nelson was built in the 1860s to protect against a potential invasion by the French, which never materialised.

Although never used for its original purpose the Fort played a significant role in both World Wars; as barracks for troops waiting to be deployed to the front line in the First, and as an anti-aircraft ammunition supply depot during the Second.

Today it stands as the finest Victorian fort of its kind and as part of the Royal Armouries is home to the national collection of artillery.

Fort Nelson is open six days a week (closed on Mondays) 10am to 5pm.

Events Manager, Elizabeth Puddick, said: “It’s great to be part of such a prestigious national event and to be able to show visitors some behind the scenes areas which are usually not seen by the public.

“Come and discover a piece of Hampshire’s history. It’s a free event so bring all the family but remember to book in advance.”

 For further information contact:

Cathy Brooks, Communications Officer, at

Find out more about Fort Nelson at

About the Royal Armouries

Entry to the museum is free but some activities carry a small charge.