Eastbourne’s historic Redoubt will be closing to the public during the week throughout 2019 while work takes place to return it to its Napoleonic glory.
Once the Redoubt season draws to a close on November 4, the fortress will pack away its displays for safe-keeping so that investigations can begin in January to restore the fortress and improve accessibility.
Although the Redoubt will be shut during the week next year, it will be opening on weekends for guided hard hat tours telling the Redoubt’s story and giving a peek behind the scenes.
The fortress’s events programme will still continue throughout the works, including monthly Culture and Cake talks, film screenings and Twilight Tours.
The Outpost café will open at weekends and a viewing platform will also give a glimpse into the exterior works taking place as part of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ tours.
As part of the works, the fortress will see essential improvements to accessibility, including a lift for wheelchairs, which will also increase the capacity for holding bigger events in future.
The project will also enable the 1807 building to become more energy efficient, reducing the carbon footprint and running costs.
Cllr Margaret Bannister said, “As a scheduled ancient monument, it is essential that these works take place to not only protect this historical treasure, but also enable the fortress to operate as a viable attraction for many years to come.
“Building adaptations inside and out over the last century, have put the fortress at risk of potential damage, with some areas currently closed for safety reasons.
“This restoration will sustain its unique structure and enable the venue to hold much bigger events and increase its programme of activities, as well as stripping back layers of time and returning much of the fortress back to its former glory.”
Guided hard hat tours led by knowledgeable heritage guides, will continue to tell the fascinating story of past coastal invasions and how the fortress came to be, it’s unique engineering, how it was used and the life of soldiers and their families there.
Tours will, when the works allow, also incorporate previously unexplored parts of the fortress including the Victorian latrines, closed off caponiers and even the moat.