If you’re one of my twitter followers -and if you’re not, you can rectify that using the handy button to the side – you may have seen a few of my tweets about #EpicFortDay.
Dear Reader(s) let me tell you, #EpicFortDay happened, and it was indeed, very Epic. So epic was this day that it would take someone of Tolkeinian or Homeric talents to do it justice. OK, I may be exaggerating, but I prefer to think of it as using hyperbole.
Before I begin this tale of epic-ness, a little background is in order. #EpicFortDay came about through a conversation with my good friend Alex (the infamous @TourGuideGirl) who cut her tour guiding teeth showing people around Fort Nelson. The experience has left her with a profound love of Forts; particularly carponiers (I had no idea either – they are the bits that jut out a little bit. Etymology fans out there will like to know that the term derives from the French for ‘Chicken Run.’)
Our day began at Shoreham Fort. A fun-sized Fort, or more technically, a redoubt built in June 1857. We were lucky enough to stroll along to a Military History Event, complete with stalls, people in military costume and cannons. The cannons were suitably #Epic.
Charming as Shoreham Fort is, it just wasn’t quite epic enough for us. So we hopped in the car and drove the short distance to Newhaven Fort: the largest defensive building in all of Sussex, and has served it’s county and country through two world wars. It seems that Newhaven realises that you probably won’t be able to take it all in during the first visit, so you can come back for £1.
I might have mentioned Alex’s love for carponiers /chicken runs, so we travelled down the 70 steps. Upon reaching the bottom we learn that there have been some spooky goings on down here.
There is a chill in the air as we explore the dark tunnels. We read that people have experience such supernatural phenomena as cold spots, a sense of unease and a force pushing them backwards. We read that there have been three grisly suicides in the Fort.
Despite the atmospheric setting of the caponier, we just couldn’t really believe the story of the hauntings.
The cold? The caponier wouldn’t have been built with insulation in mind. The sense of unease? People aren’t supposed to be wandering around inside a cliff in the dark. The force pushing you back? It does get rather drafty down there with all the gun holes and cracks…
But you can make up your own mind.