Eastbourne Redoubt

Eastbourne Redoubt lies in the town of the same name, in the county of East Sussex in England.

In the beginning of the 19th century the British Empire feared a French invasion by Napoleon. So to resist this potential invasion 74 Martello towers were built along the Kent and Sussex coastlines from Folkstone to Seaford between 1805 and 1808. According to the original plan they were to be aided by three 11-gun towers; one at Eastbourne, one at Rye harbor and one at Dymchurch. The plans for the 11-gun tower at Rye harbor was eventually abandoned while a 3rd redoubt was later constructed at Harwich in Essex to support the Martello chain built to defend the east coast; although broadly similar, it differs in some details from the south coast redoubts.

The 11-gun towers, which came to be known as "circular forts" or "grand redoubts", were intended to act as barracks and stores depots for the rest of the Martello chain, as well as formidable fortresses in their own right. 

The Eastbourne Redoubt was built between 1805 and 1810. But by the time that the redoubt was finished and had been fully armed and garrisoned, the likelihood of an invasion had become very remote and its guns were only fired in anger once; in 1812 two shots were fired at a passing French warship but missed.

By the 1830's, Europe was experiencing a long peaceful period and the garrison consisted of only seven gunners and a gate keeper, together with their families. Nevertheless the armament of the fort was progressively improved throughout the 19th century.

During WW I the Eastbourne Redoubt was used by the military police as a headquarters and temporary prison. After the war it was bought by the local council with the plan to turn it into a venue for leisure activities. Only part of that plan was carried out. During WW II the fort was requisitioned by the army to use it for storage. Although in 1944, anti-aircraft guns were mounted on the gun platforms to counter passing V-1 flying bombs.

In 1957 the fort regained its civilian purpose and was partly used for a time as a site for a model village and an aquarium. It now houses some regimental army museums.

At present the Eastbourne Redoubt can be visited for a fee. A very nice fortification, worth your visit.


Gallery

Eastbourne Redoubt

Eastbourne Redoubt lies in the town of the same name, in the county of East Sussex in England.

In the beginning of the 19th century the British Empire feared a French invasion by Napoleon. So to resist this potential invasion 74 Martello towers were built along the Kent and Sussex coastlines from Folkstone to Seaford between 1805 and 1808. According to the original plan they were to be aided by three 11-gun towers; one at Eastbourne, one at Rye harbor and one at Dymchurch. The plans for the 11-gun tower at Rye harbor was eventually abandoned while a 3rd redoubt was later constructed at Harwich in Essex to support the Martello chain built to defend the east coast; although broadly similar, it differs in some details from the south coast redoubts.

The 11-gun towers, which came to be known as "circular forts" or "grand redoubts", were intended to act as barracks and stores depots for the rest of the Martello chain, as well as formidable fortresses in their own right. 

The Eastbourne Redoubt was built between 1805 and 1810. But by the time that the redoubt was finished and had been fully armed and garrisoned, the likelihood of an invasion had become very remote and its guns were only fired in anger once; in 1812 two shots were fired at a passing French warship but missed.

By the 1830's, Europe was experiencing a long peaceful period and the garrison consisted of only seven gunners and a gate keeper, together with their families. Nevertheless the armament of the fort was progressively improved throughout the 19th century.

During WW I the Eastbourne Redoubt was used by the military police as a headquarters and temporary prison. After the war it was bought by the local council with the plan to turn it into a venue for leisure activities. Only part of that plan was carried out. During WW II the fort was requisitioned by the army to use it for storage. Although in 1944, anti-aircraft guns were mounted on the gun platforms to counter passing V-1 flying bombs.

In 1957 the fort regained its civilian purpose and was partly used for a time as a site for a model village and an aquarium. It now houses some regimental army museums.

At present the Eastbourne Redoubt can be visited for a fee. A very nice fortification, worth your visit.


Gallery