Capturing Cambridge
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Shelly Row

History of the Old Barn Shelly Row

Cambridge Independent 6/12/1907: there is account of a walk of the antiquarian society in which they were shown a barn which had housed French prisoners at the time of the Peninsular Wars during their transfer to the prison at Norman Cross. Six or seven thousand prisoners were marched through Cambridge in batches of two or three hundred. After Napoleon was sent to Elba the men were allowed to return to France in batches again. They were no longer prisoners and were free to enjoy themselves in the town. Some had reportedly made a great deal of money through trading while they were imprisoned at Norman Cross.

See Napoleonic prisoners

The French prisoners were also held at public houses in Cambridge, such as The True Blue, formerly The Lord Nelson in Sydney Street.

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