Redoubt Fortress

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For over 200 years the Redoubt Fortress has stood ready to defend the Eastbourne coast. It formed part of a chain of fortifications built to deter Napoleon’s forces in the early 1800s, and it still stands as a unique monument to that time. Garrisoned by troops until the early 1900s and again during World War II the fortress is now a museum.

Construction of the Redoubt Fortress was started in 1804 and continuing until 1810. Five million bricks were shipped on barges down the east coast from London for the fortress. The Redoubt is made up of 24 Casemates placed in a ring 220 feet in diameter; it is surrounded by a moat 25 feet wide by 24 feet deep but due to the Redoubt standing on shingle the moat could never be filled. The only entrance was across a bridge which linked the gun platform with the inland face of the fortress.

The sea facing side is protected with a layer of shingle mixed with cement to help the building to survive cannon fire from enemy ships. The interior of the fortress is on two levels, the upper being the gun platform and the lower accommodation for up to 350 soldiers.

This amazingly historic location holds many secrets, whispers and footsteps can be heard when no one is around. And yet who is that talking in its tunnels and rooms? There is no doubt the World Wars have made their imprint at the fortress with soldiers, workers and residents still wander its walls.

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Address: Royal Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN22 7AQ

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