Hold­ing the fort

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

EAST­BOURNE’S cher­ished mar­itime heritage has been given a shot in the arm with the re­open­ing of its 200-year-old Re­doubt Fortress (www.east­bourne­mu­se­ums.co.uk). The home of the Mil­i­tary Mu­seum of Sus­sex since 1977, with a dis­parate range of ex­hibits—from items linked to the Sus­sex reg­i­ments to arte­facts from the Charge of the Light Bri­gade and el Alamein—it has un­der­gone a makeover aimed at pro­vid­ing vis­i­tors with a clearer im­pres­sion of its napoleonic ori­gins. The fortress was built in 1805 as one in a string of de­fences along the south coast es­tab­lished in anticipation of a French in­va­sion. Although that never ma­te­ri­alised, the fort’s guns did fire two shots at French war­ships in 1812, both of which missed. With its solid, bas­tion-like de­fences, the Re­doubt served as a gar­ri­son for 200 sol­diers and was also a store­room for its quaintly named sis­ter at­trac­tion fur­ther east along east­bourne’s prom­e­nade, the Wish Tower, one of the Martello tow­ers that dot­ted the coast from Sus­sex round to east Anglia.

The year 2017 will also be a big one for the town’s Lifeboat Mu­seum, op­er­ated by the Royal na­tional Lifeboat In­sti­tu­tion. It be­came the first mu­seum of its type when it opened in 1937 and cel­e­brates its 80th an­niver­sary this year. Jack Watkins

The Re­doubt was built to re­pel a French in­va­sion

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