The Life of a Fort

We have three great new exhibitions where you can discover the story of the Fort, from its design and construction amid fear of invasion, to its present-day guise as a unique visitor experience.


This is a great place to begin your exploration of the Fort. The seven minute film reveals the thousand-year defensive history of the Castle Hill site, on which the Fort is built.

Discover why and how the Fort was built, and the construction details that made it unique in its time.See how the Fort and the town of Newhaven played an active role in two World Wars and how, post-war, the Fort was left derelict before being restored to its former glory.

The History of the Fort

Newhaven Fort is the largest work of defence ever built in Sussex and was the last of the many defences that have been built here since pre-Roman times. In this exhibition you can discover how the present Fort was built, who built it and how it was armed. Learn how the Fort became part of a wider scheme of defences that included Motor Torpedo Boats, minesweepers and even a seaplane base hunting German submarines.

Life in the Fort

When the Fort was opened it was not only soldiers who lived in it, but their families too, and life was tough!

Discover what a ‘barrack rat’ was and learn about a Victorian soldier’s daily routine. Find out which regiments were based here and what equipment they used.