Top Sites of 2019 – No.7 Clowne POW Camp

The concrete base of the Nissen hut (scale = 1m). © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020
The POW camp once squatters had moved in. Photograph believed to have been taken in the mid 50s
The carved bullet. © Copyright ARS Ltd 2020

Last year we monitored groundworks associated with the installation of a roundabout in Clowne near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. At the northern end of the site, we discovered the concrete base of a WWII Nissen hut associated with the former prisoner of war (POW) camp, which later became a squatter settlement. The hut was associated with a narrow ditch which ran parallel to it and probably defined its limits. Both the ditch and the hut had been disturbed, presumably during a demolition event associated with the removal of the squatters’ camp and the subsequent construction of a garden centre on the site in the 1950s-60s. During excavation, we found a lens from a pair of binoculars, a toilet seat, an enamelled tin bowl and a selection of bottles, amongst other items. A local resident also brought us a bullet, believed to have been carved by one of the prisoners, that he found whilst walking in the woodland near the site, see above.

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