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Heritage Open Days

Every year we are delighted to participate in the Heritage Open Days Scheme (

Heritage Open Days is England's largest festival of history and culture, bringing together over 2,500 organisations, 5,000 events and 40,000 volunteers. Every year in September, places across the country throw open their doors to celebrate their heritage, community and history. It’s your chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all FREE.

At the Norman Cross Napoleonic Prison, we have talks, guided tours, re-enactments, and refreshments.

Our 2018 event is on 15th and 16th September:

Visitors will be shown the remains of the prison depot that stood on the site during the Napoleonic Wars, examining how many thousands of prisoners of war (French, Dutch, German, Italian and Polish) were administered, housed, fed and clothed.

Norman Cross Prison was a Napoleonic War Prison in use from 1797 until 1814, and could house up to 7,000 French prisoners of war. It was the first purpose-built war prison, and was the major industry in the area during this period. It had a population twice that of nearby Peterborough. The story will be told of the prison and the men held here, and shown what remains of the site. Re-enactors will be present to demonstrate the life of soldiers during the Napoleonic Wars. The site featured in a Time Team investigation in 2009, and the tours will explain what they found during the dig. This year we are celebrating the publication of a new book on the story of the prison - The Napoleonic Prison of Norman Cross by Paul Chamberlain, published by The History Press.

Opening Times

Saturday 15 September: 1000-1600; Tours 1030 & 1330
Sunday 16 September: 1000-1600; Tours 1030 & 1330

Booking Details

Pre-booking: Preferred
Tours must be pre-booked
Booking Contact: Val Hunter
Call: 01733 244165
Booking opens: 1 August 2018 09:00
Booking closes: 16 September 2018 09:00


Car parking is available. Some of the ground can be slippery and uneven, especially after heavy rain.

Additional Information

Max 40 people per tour/session. One and a half hours Contact for the day: Val Hunter 01733 245189