Eastbourne Redoubt Fortress
We visited the Eastbourne Redoubt in early October 2016. Luckily for us, the weather was still absolutely glorious and allowed for plenty of selfies! We tied our visit in with a trip to Wyntercon, a sci-fi convention hosted in the town and run by one of ur very good friends: Andy Kybett.
The redoubt was built as a coastal fort in 1805 in preparation for the Napoleonic invasion that never came. It is fairly large with a diameter of approximately 60 meters. The building is actually in very good shape in comparison to the now inaccessible Cliffe Fort in Kent, which is flooded and falling down. It’s nice to see a museum take over these historic sites and keep them in good condition for members of the public to enjoy.
Access to the museum is through the gift shop. While we were busy buying postcards and pencils, we spotted some packs made by The Memorabilia Pack Company. There are lots of packs from different time periods, we picked up the RAF at War, Suffragettes, and 1920s packs. The replicas are really high-quality reproductions of historical documents, and well worth purchasing if you’re an educator or even a reenactor and they fit in your time period.
The museum is a bit strange to go around ad you are, quite literally, going around! The museum is built into the preexisting rooms of the original Redoubt and is circular in nature. Each room dedicated to a different topic from the redoubts history.
One of the first rooms contains an impressive model of the redoubt. “I felt seeing this fully justified the ticket price. It gave me a scale idea of what the redoubt would look like from an aerial view.” says Mike. Along with this model was a second one that was split through allowing you to see a cross section of the redoubt again for those interested in architecture this was very interesting.
We were particularly impressed that the museum gives over a few rooms to respectfully remember those who have died serving our country. Not only was it nice to see both World Wars remembered in a small local museum, but the personal stories from local families really added to a sense of personal connection. Reading about the local Eastbourne soldiers, navy men, and airmen fighting in order that we can have the freedoms we have today was quite humbling. This is not something that I’ve seen in small museums before.
Coming back into the huge circular courtyard area, we were pleased to find stairs leading to the top of the Redoubt. This was great as we had views for miles around and also got to play with the cannons!
“Eastbourne Redoubt was great and really interesting. It provided us with lots of photo opportunities, just a shame some of the over the top signs got in the way of a lot” Niki
Tea For Four
As alway when visiting a historical site, The Hovel must judge the quality of the local tea and cake! The cafe is sited in one of the rooms which sits along the diameter of the redoubt. It has both indoor and outdoor seating, with the outdoor seating being in the redoubts courtyard. Food and drink are fairly priced at rates similar to cafes in the local area.
As the weather was rather pleasant for early October we chose to sit in the courtyard. The staff in the cafe were very friendly and their tea making abilities are to be praised, for you see tea is a very serious matter! Those of the team who had cake also agreed it was good cake!
The fortress itself is free to wander around, however there is a small entrance fee for the museum.
- Adult £4.50
- Senior/Student £3.25
- Child £2.50
- Family (up to 5 people) £12*
*must include 1 child under 16
The best description of the redoubt is at Wikipedia