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Augmented Reality App Brings 19th Century Fortress to Life

The 200-year-old Redoubt Fortress is stepping into the future as the launch of a new app brings history to life with an augmented reality trail that sees statues moving, cannons firing and plenty of selfie opportunities in time for the re-opening on Monday 19 March.

As the Redoubt Fortress re-opens its iron clad doors this month, the use of the futuristic augmented reality app, Gamar, will give visitors an even deeper insight into the fortress that was built to deter Napoleon’s forces in the early 1800s. By pointing a smart device at trigger points around the fortress, visitors can watch in amazement as their device displays exciting animations that sees statues come to life, casemates to appear as they would have done in the 1800s and the chance to answer quick-fire quizzes. The virtual trail has players sussing out puzzles, taking selfies and firing cannons at ships to defend the Redoubt, all on their pocket size device.


Suitable for adults and children, the fun trail is the perfect addition in a year when kids also benefit from free entry* to the fortress, along with a packed programme of school holiday activities.

In between the virtual fun, there is plenty to explore around the Redoubt Fortress with a parade ground, gun platforms and several casemates open for exploration on Eastbourne’s Heritage Coast. The immersive audio and visual ‘Faces of the Fort’ experience tells the stories of former inhabitants across 200 years such as a surgeon in the Artillery, the General who designed the Redoubt and the children who called it home. For those who want to discover even more, heritage experts will be on hand to answer any burning questions with daily guided tours at 11am and 2pm.

Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “There are so many captivating stories to be heard at the Redoubt Fortress and this unique new app brings that history to life like we’ve never seen before. It’s truly eye-opening to see how the fortress would have looked for those who called it home, this new technology has given us a better understanding of what life was like all those years ago.”
This year’s events programme isn’t short of entertainment for the entire family, with film screenings, kids activities and heritage talks to be enjoyed all the way from March to December.

Offering a truly unique cinematic experience, Films at the Fortress returns with musical accompaniments to bring the films to life. Marking the rediscovery of the shipwreck in 1985, the Titanic will be shown on 1 September with Gibbs Trio playing the music that entertained the passengers on the doomed ship. Live music will also be on hand to add an eerie element to the film screening of folk horror, The Wicker Man, as the Gadzooks play music from the film on 1 May.

Spooky Eastbourne is in full force throughout October with plenty of haunting Halloween activities. Kids can wander the casemates in a spooky trail over half term and get creative with ghoulish crafts. Adults are in for a chilling Halloween experience with a screening of classic horror film, The Omen, followed by a ghost tour around the eerie dark fortress. Twilight Tours also return this year as families are guided around the Redoubt by candlelight and told the terrifying tales of the 200-year-old building’s past.

Little ones can enjoy school holiday fun with an explosive ‘Science Week’ in May Half Term and an Easter trail complete with themed crafts from 30 March-15 April. There’s lots of family fun to be had at the screening of 80’s hit film, Labyrinth, where kids will have the chance to make their very own puppets in a crafty workshop on 2 June.

Culture and Cake kicks off in April, offering a monthly look into Eastbourne’s fascinating past. From the incredible story of Hana Mullerova who escaped Nazi persecution in 1939 and made Eastbourne her home for 60 years, to an up close look at the amazing discoveries made during the excavation of a local major Anglo-Saxon period burial ground. These laid-back Q&A style sessions all come equipped with a slice of cake at the Outpost café!

Visitors can wind down with a glass of wine as heritage experts lead a series of Town Hall Talks towards the end of the year. From Dr Annie Gray’s insightful talk on the Christmas dinners that Edward I and Edward III would have tucked into during the 13th century, to Dr Sadie Watson’s account of what was discovered during London’s Bloomberg Excavations, this is an exclusive opportunity to learn from experts.

For a full list of dates and further details on the Redoubt Fortress and its busy events programme, please visit

*Kids go free - up to 2 children 16 years and under are admitted free entry with every full paying adult.

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