Warth Mills Prisoner of War Camp, Bury


The Challenge

For our client, New Charter Housing Trust (now Jigsaw), this was the design and build contract to undertake the construction of 65 newly refurbished units comprising four 4 bed (6 person) houses, ten 3 bed (5 person) houses, twenty one 2 bed (4 person houses) and thirty 1 bed (2 person) apartments for affordable rent and shared ownership. The original contract value was £7,000,000.00.

Key Considerations

The site required extensive remediation works and removal of invasive plants.


The photo shows Monkey Bridge over the River Irwell at Bury (which carries the Bury-Manchester line) and the eastern corner of what was the Warth Mills POW camp.

After the camp was considerably ‘reconditioned’, German and Italian prisoners of war started to use it. Initially the prisoners were U-boat crews and Luftwaffe crews but after Normandy there was a huge surge in Heer (army) and SS prisoners. By the time the camp was decommissioned in 1947, over 100,000 prisoners had spent time at Warth Mills.

There were several attempts to escape but no German prisoners managed to leave the country. One made it as far north as Kendal, while two others made it to London before being caught.

The Outcome

The project was delivered ahead of time and to client budget.


At today’s Warth Road development, no one will be trying to escape.

The site consists of new homes and apartments built to the highest energy efficiency standards, positively regenerating the area for its present day residents.

Our Services

  • Employer’s Agent
  • Cost Management
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • CDM Principal Designer.
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