History came alive at the Redoubt re-enactment

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Visitors got to experience a working fortress from the 1800s at the weekend when the Redoubt celebrated all things Napoleonic with a re-enactment.

The weekend event celebrated Trafalgar Day and showed how life would have been at the seafront fortress in 1805, with 30 re-enactors in full period military dress.

There was mortar and musket firing, soldier drills and staged skirmishes between British and French soldiers, as the history of the Napoleonic war was retold for a family audience – with the sights and smells of a Napoleonic era encampment.

Eastbourne Borough Council Cabinet Member for Tourism, Cllr Neil Stanley said, “The Redoubt was a key stronghold along the south coast defence of Britain during the Napoleonic wars and was a great place to celebrate Trafalgar Day and discover the fascinating history of this war, alongside what life was like for people in the 1800s.

“For any age group – if you like history, then this was the perfect day out to discover even more.”

Hands on History gave adults and children the chance to try on authentic looking costumes and allow supervised handling of weapons and equipment.

More re-enactors joined the soldiers as followers and storytellers, bringing the story of the Napoleonic war to life.

Performances over the weekend were run by three regiments, including the Cameron Highlanders, the First Foot Guards and in French costume the 45e Infanterie Regiment de Ligne, all of whom also took time out to talk to visitors during the day.

The Redoubt Fortress was built to defend the coast of Sussex, one of only three across the south coast, and could house up to 350 soldiers.

The Fortress continued as a key south coast defence until 1859, before being used during the First and Second World Wars as military police HQ, army storage and as a base for Canadian troops in the lead up to the D-Day landings.