Visitors can experience what life was like in Eastbourne’s Redoubt Fortress during the Napoleonic era as costumed interpreters re-enact everything from defending the fortress to performing gruesome battlefield surgery in a special re-enactment weekend, ‘The Fort Awakens’, today and tomorrow (5-6 August).
Dressed in authentic costume, Napoleonic soldiers will be guarding the Fortress and revealing the ins and outs of daily life as a soldier in Eastbourne all those years ago. Visitors can explore the Fortress while coming face to face with the Redoubt residents as they tell the tales of times gone by as part of a dramatic and authentic experience.
Visitors can get a glimpse into the surgery that was needed to aid battlefield injuries as they re-enact surgical procedures that would have been carried out by the Fortress’ very own surgeon. For those who are curious about the fortress’ impressive architecture, re-enactors in the character of Napoleonic engineers will be answering questions about the ways in which the fortress was built and how it defended the south coast.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “The Fort Awakens is an eye-opening experience for all ages as the Redoubt Fortress comes to life in a truly immersive event. Exploring the 19th century building while it is occupied with Napoleonic soldiers really takes you back in time to see and feel what it would have been like for the Redoubt residents.”
Running all year round is the ‘Faces of the Fort’, the Redoubt’s immersive experience which opened in March, allowing history enthusiasts to follow the stories of real residents who called the Redoubt Fortress their home in the 1800-1900’s. From the General who designed the Redoubt to a Surgeon at the fortress in the 1880s, visitors can immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of a working fortress as they explore spooky stairs, latrines and moat caponiers.
The fortress continues with a lively programme of events, including Mystery Monday’s at 11am and 2pm every Monday of the summer holidays. Children can get their detective hat on as they take part in crafts and activities which will have them designing disguises, discovering the secrets of Morse Code and cracking secret codes.
Photo credit: Heritage Eastbourne