Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson
Royal Armouries, Fort Nelson
Portsdown Hill Road
This imposing Victorian fort is home to the Royal Armouries national collection of artillery – The Big Guns.
Strategically positioned atop Portsdown Hill, with panoramic views across the Meon Valley and Portsmouth Harbour, Fort Nelson is an historic monument, restored to how it would have been in the 1890s. Visitors can access most areas of the fortifications and see how the Fort would have operated.
The museum’s displays trace the development of artillery from pre-gunpowder siege machines to modern-day super guns. There are over 350 big guns on display.
Fort Nelson has just undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment transforming it into a museum for the 21st century. Featuring a new visitor centre, a new café and new galleries, including the magnificent Voice of the Guns gallery.
Museum, Heritage site, Castle or defences
10am – 5pm
Last admission 4pm
10.30am – 4pm
Last admission 3pm
Closed 24, 25 and 26 December
Free entry. A small charge may apply for special events and some activities.
Our library is open for research purposes by appointment only.
Fort Nelson also houses the world-renowned Royal Armouries collection of historic big guns and cannon, part of the National Museum of Arms and Armour. See the infamous Iraqi Supergun and its ancestor the Great Turkish Bombard of 1464. From the smallest cannon to the giants of the age of the battleship, visitors can see them all at Fort Nelson
Archaeology, Architecture, Decorative and Applied Art, Social History, Weapons and War
- 6 — 17 April 2015
Fort Nelson is a fully restored Victorian fort and this Easter we invite you to come find out more about its history and the people who lived and worked here.
Family activities include an ‘archaeological dig site’ where you can help our team uncover artefacts from Fort Nelson’s Victorian past. Use your skills to excavate and examine hidden objects to discover what life as a Victorian soldier was really like.
Sessions start at 11am, 2pm and 3pm every day.
Children must be accompanied by an adult during the session.
Tickets can be purchased on arrival at the Visitors Centre.
See the mighty WWII 25-pounder Quick-Firing Gun Howitzer fired on the parade every day at 1pm.
£3.50 per child
Unseen and Underground
- 15 May 2015 6:30-9:30pm
This evening of adventure and discovery begins with an informative and entertaining guided tour of the rarely opened West Tunnel and West Demi Caponier, before a visit to the Officers’ Mess in the Redan for a glass of Madeira wine and a slice of Madeira cake.
Later you will be guided to the North Caponier where you will experience a live firing of the 32-pounder gun.
Tours start at 6.30pm and 8pm.
Tickets are limited and must be booked in advance. Tickets are available to purchase from 1 April 2015.
- Family friendly
Under 16s: £10