A Taste of Eastbourne History – with tea and cake.

Nothing is so enjoyable as combining history with a cup of tea and slice of very good cake.

I am enjoying researching the history of my lovely new home, there is so much to learn and discover. It is all made so easy by numerous websites, forums and historical groups, as well as the large library in the centre of town.

On Saturday I joined a small group at The Redoubt in Eastbourne to hear about the history of this unique and very special building. As a child, I grew up just around the corner from the Redoubt and remember happy times playing in the area behind the Pavilion which, as I recall, was the venue for children’s summer activities – a talent show, Punch and Judy, or just the chance to wiz round on roller skates. There was also the famous model village and aquarium inside the fort and it was a great treat to visit.

The talk on Saturday was held in a converted ‘casemate’, one of 24 small vaulted chambers that make up the circular design of the building. Built over 200 years ago as a defence against Napoleon, it appears the fortress was never really used for purpose. Our eloquent speaker from Heritage Eastbourne took us through the timeline of the site and held us spellbound with tales of smugglers, war and local folklore. It was also explained that the Redoubt is very much a work in progress as the historians are constantly unravelling new memorabilia and architectural mysteries.

At just £6 a ticket the afternoon is fun, interesting and great value. It includes entrance to the recently restored museum where, by the wonders of modern science, you can hear tales from people who lived there. Lastly, time for a nice sit down in the sunny parade ground for a slice of delicious cake from The Outpost Café.


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