Fort’s Historic Munitions Set for Display

An exhibition featuring important elements of Fort Amherst’s historic ordnance collection will open later this year thanks to a £1,800 grant from the Rochester Bridge Trust.

The Fort Amherst Trust will showcase a broad display of local and national pieces, until now kept under wraps due to lack of funding. Items include Napoleonic-era experimental cannons and a 17th Century Cromwellian gun modified with Charles II’s Monarchical Cipher, one of only a handful of such weapons still in existence. The piece is on loan from the Royal Artillery Barracks at Woolwich.

Details of the munitions will be displayed on a series of fixed information panels, paid for with the Bridge Trust’s grant. The funding has also been used to light the exhibition, one of the largest of its kind outside of national museums.

Organisers hope to have the exhibition completed for viewing in time for the Heritage Open Days on the 14th and 15th of September.

Keith Gulvin, Vice-Chair of the Amherst Heritage Trust, said: “We have brought together a fascinating array of remarkable historical pieces at Fort Amherst. Having spent two years making slow progress with minimal funding, we are now able to show off this collection for the first time. Without the very generous help of the Rochester Bridge Trust, we simply would not have been able to complete the exhibition. Their funding was the missing piece of the puzzle. We just need now to apply the finishing touches and then finally we can open this wonderful exhibition.”

Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk at Rochester Bridge Trust, said: “We are delighted to have been able to provide Fort Amherst Trust with the funding they needed to put some of its finest historical pieces on show. “Visitors will now be able to gain a deeper understanding of the Fort’s defences through the ages.”

Notes:

1. The Rochester Bridge Trust is a charitable trust that exists to maintain the old and new bridges at Rochester and serve the travelling public. It is the only surviving bridge trust still serving its original purpose, and it has served the people of Kent since 1399. The Trust also supports numerous community and education projects across historic Kent and Medway.

2. The Trust’s assets all derive from endowments of land and money in the 14th and 15th centuries and are carefully managed in order to provide an income to fund bridge maintenance and local charitable grants. The Trust receives no external funding and is regulated by the Charity Commission.

For more information:

The Rochester Bridge Trust
5 Esplanade
Rochester
Kent ME1 1QE
Tel: 01634 846706
Fax: 01634 840125