Why take a Tour?
The Drop Redoubt is a building which had to constantly evolve in its 150 years of occupation and military use. This means there are at least 3 phases of construction in the fort with adaptations masking the original use of some areas. In addition the ravages of time, neglect and vandalism have all taken their toll, leaving a shell which can be difficult to interpret and understand.
Our tours help to peel back the layers and walk you through the history of the fort, putting it all into context. Why as it built in the first place? Why build on the Western Heights? What was it like to live and work here? What do we know about the people garrisoned here from the Napoleonic Wars right through to the Second World War?
It can be very difficult when all you see are ruinous walls and rooms with no floors, doors or window shutters, but the Drop Redoubt is slowly revealing her secrets, from the soldier who struck his sergeant to the Drum Corps who practiced on the Drop Redoubt parade ground a month before being sent to the horrors of the First World War; how soldiers used a considerable part of their wages to buy food in town to supplement the awful food they were given in barracks; the World War II Major who shot down a Messerschmitt from the Heights while based at the Drop Redoubt – with his own personal dual-mounted Bren gun, no less!
While we welcome children of all ages, our tours generally last 2 – 2 ½ hours, which has proved too long for children under the age of 10 on previous tours. However, we always enjoy having children on the tour and we make sure they are fully included; exploring the lighting passage in the main magazine, looking at the cave spiders and guessing the punishment for the soldier who hit his sergeant are always popular!
Tours are on the third Sunday of April, May, June, July and August at 11am and 2pm, (dates may vary depending on other events – see our calendar for further information). There is no fee for the tours; all we ask is that if you enjoy your tour, please pass the word on to others! As an entirely voluntary organisation donations to the Society’s work are, of course, always welcome. We welcome cash donations or you can donate safely online at our GoFundMe page – 100% of the money raised goes back into our work