The Warth Mills Project is funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund and tells the story of one of the largest internment camps in wartime Britain.

Summer, 1940. With Northern Europe quickly falling into Nazi control, Churchill instructed the authorities to intern all Italians, Germans and Austrians resident in Britain. These ‘enemy aliens’ included Italian chefs and café owners, and Jewish artists and academics fleeing persecution. Most of these men posed no threat to British security and some went on to fight with the allied forces.

Warth Mills later as Macphersons Paints

Throughout 2017/18, volunteer researchers in Bury have been creating the Warth Mills Digital Archive – an important resource that will be made available to future researchers.

The Warth Mills Project website invites visitors to explore assets from the digital archive and explore the story of Warth Mills – the conditions, the internees and the transition to a prisoner of war camp.


On the Events page, you will also find information about talks, recitals and exhibitions taking place in Bury and Manchester during summer 2018.

Find out more


This project would not be possible without the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Lottery players.

Corporate Sponsor

We are grateful to St Modwen, the current owners of Warth Mills, for sponsoring the project.

Project Partners

We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the following organisations who contributed time, space and archive materials.

  • University of the Third Age, Bury


Finally, thanks to GF Smith for providing paper for our print materials.