The Eastbourne Redoubt Fortress is a circular fortress that was built in 1805 as part of preparations to defend the British coast from an invasion during the Napoleonic Wars.
The 68m- (224 ft)-diameter circular fortress is surrounded by a dry moat with a circular internal parade ground and gun platforms on the roof.
It was used as a military police headquarters and gaol during the First World War and during the Second World War, it was used mostly for storage although anti-aircraft guns were mounted on the gun platforms to defend against German V-1 flying bombs.
What to see at the Eastbourne Redoubt Fortress
The Redoubt Fortress is a popular attraction and a lot of people just come to look at the parade ground and gun platforms (which have no admission charge).
If you pay to visit you are able to see other areas of the complex including an exhibition about the fortress and the two regimental museums inside the fortress: one for the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars and another for the Royal Sussex Regiment.
There is an augmented reality trail that you can follow using the Gamar app. This app lets you see what the Redoubt would have looked like 200 years ago and it gives you additional background information about the fortress and it even includes a cannon shooting game. The app is available from the Apple App Store for iOS devices and from Google Play for Android devices. After installing it you need to select Eastbourne Borough Council and the Redoubt Fortress Trail.
Visiting the Eastbourne Redoubt Fortress
The fortress is located on the coast around a 10-minute walk north of Eastbourne Pier and around a 15-minute walk from the town centre. Local bus routes 44, 49, 99 (The Wave) and 195 stop on Royal Parade outside the fortress.
The Redoubt Fortress is open April to mid-November six days per week (closed on Mondays). There is an admission charge to go inside the fortress including the two regimental museums; however, there is no charge to see the gun platforms and parade ground.
Most visitors spend between one and two hours at the Redoubt Fortress.