Fort Nelson houses the Royal Armouries’ collection of artillery and historic cannon – the Big Guns – with over 350 on display, including the massive 200-tonne railway gun.
This vast Victorian fortification, with panoramic views of the Solent and Meon Valley, was built in the 1860s as part of a defensive chain around Portsmouth and its vital Royal Dockyard. It is probably the best surviving example of a Victorian fortress and has been restored to its original 19th-century state, together with parts of its Second World War history.
Visitors can explore 19 acres of ramparts and outer fortifications, plus secret underground tunnels and ammunition bunkers, and discover what life was like for the Victorian garrison in the barrack rooms, hospital and kitchen.
Museum galleries include The Voice of the Guns and Artillery Hall, which display an extensive collection of icon guns from around the world, from medieval wall-smashers to 20th-century weaponry.
Daily events include guided tours and a big gun salute at 1pm. Cafe 1871 serves drinks, snacks and light meals.
There are school holiday activities and special gun-firing events throughout the year. Please visit our website for more information.