Wollaton Hall, Nottingham
Having visited Wollaton again today, I thought it was time I reposted this blogette on their mini-WW2 exhibition. I also recently came across Kevin Walby and Justin Piché’s research on Canadian prison museums . Their typology for thinking about different ways in which a building or site is reused is v.useful as is their point about moving research on penal tourism beyond world-famous sites like Alcatraz and Robben Island. Wollaton Hall is an interesting example of how a site became a temporary prison during wartime and reminds us of the continuum between war and incarceration and the way in which the military-industrial-complex and prison-industrial-complex legitimise one another.
A miniature exhibition amongst the taxidermy at Wollaton Hall commemorates the role of the Hall during WW2 in housing thousands of US troops. A couple of sentences also identify it as a Prisoner of War camp along with a couple of trinkets seized:
The framing of these objects is interesting as is the lack of information about the POW camp. Like other ghosts of war, the prison exists here as an almost imperceptible trace.