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Saturday, 2 March, 2002, 14:05 GMT
Murals discovered at PoW camp
Murals painted by POWs
The murals depict countryside scenes
A former PoW camp bought by a couple hoping to create a new chicken farm, has yielded long-lost art works painted by the inmates.

Wall murals depicting horses and other animals were painted on the walls of the huts at Camp 93, near Crook in Weardale.

The artists were among the former 1,400 World War II German and Austrian prisoners.

Now the complex, known as Harperley Camp, may be turned into a museum by its new owners, James and Lisa McLeod.

POW mural
The pictures are being preserved

Mr McLeod said: "When we got there the buildings were all overgrown.

"When we fought our way in and saw these murals on the wall, we got a tingling feeling, I just couldn't believe it."

Mrs McLeod said: "The prisoners were obviously very homesick.

"You can tell by the scenes of animals and mountains."

The artwork convinced the couple that the camp should be turned into a museum.

Conditions at the camp, believed to be the best preserved of its kind, were not exceptionally harsh, with inmates permitted to roam the countryside.

A number of local residents have been helping the couple put together a picture of what life was like at the camp.

English Heritage is now compiling a report with a recommendation that the camp should be given listed building status which would protect it from future development.

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