Raikeswood Camp, in the north-west of the market town of Skipton in North Yorkshire, was built in early 1915 as a military training camp for the Bradford Pals. From January 1918, it was used as a prisoner-of-war camp for German officers.

birds eye view illustration of prisoner of war camp in skipton

After the Germans were finally repatriated in October 1919, the site of the camp was gradually built on with residential housing and for nearly 100 years stories of the lost wartime camp remained silent, rarely mentioned in histories of the town.

Then, following the discovery of a book in Skipton library written by a group of German officers during their time in Skipton, work began on translating the book, entitled Kriegsgefangen in Skipton.

Using material from the book, as well as archival research, this website aims to rewrite the story of this forgotten WW1 camp back into the history of Skipton, reshaping accounts of the town and its past.

You can discover more about what life was like in the camp by exploring the Timeline or 3D model. More detailed information on the different periods of the camp’s history can be found by clicking the circle buttons ‘Training Camp,’ ‘POW camp’ or ‘Post-war’.

This website, which is a joint collaboration between the Craven and the First World War project and the University of Leeds, has been developed as a result of the support by National Lottery players via the Heritage Lottery Fund

map of yorkshire showing location of skipton is red

Location of Skipton, North Yorkshire© Triss Kenny

map of skipton showing location of camp highlighted in red

Location of the former camp in north-west corner of Skipton© Triss Kenny


Featured pages