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Henllan Bridge Prisoner Of War Camp, Henllan;henllan Pow Camp

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NPRN419278
Map ReferenceSN34SE
Grid ReferenceSN3565540241
Unitary (Local) AuthorityCeredigion
Old CountyCardiganshire
CommunityLlandyfriog
Type Of SitePRISONER OF WAR CAMP
PeriodModern
Description
This Prisoner Of war Camp was constructed between 1940 and 1941. It housed Italian prisoners from 1943-1946, and German prisoners from 1946-1947. In 1943 1200 prisoners, captured mainly in Tunisia and Libya, were marched from Henllan Railway Station (NPRN 41361) to the camp to begin their imprisonment. After a short period of time, the prisoners who caused trouble were moved to a high security camp, leaving the more moderate prisoners at Henllan. During the day, the prisoners had to work in the area around the camp, mainly on local farms in north Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion. They reportedly contributed greatly to the local economy and life. The POWs were also reportedly employed in the excavation of Caerau Henllan (NPRN 303772), whose earthworks the camp partly overlies.

The camp, built to a standard design, included around 35 dormitory huts, kitchen, hospital, bathing facilities and theatre. One of the dormitory huts was renovated by the prisoners into a Catholic church, Capel Eidalwyr (NPRN 419278). After the surrender of Italy in 1946 around 700 prisoners left to be repatriated in Italy. Others chose to stay in the local area. The camp has since become a place of pilgramage to many who were held there, as well as their families. The chapel is the only surviving example on the British mainland of a POW decorated church.

Sources include:
credo.ysgolccc.org.uk
www.discovercarmarthenshire.com

N Vousden, RCAHMW, 27 August 2013