The Carrickblacker Prisoner of War Camp on the outskirts of Portadown, Co. Armagh never saw use in the detention of Axis prisoners. In the earlier years of World War Two, the sizeable camp housed Allied troops for several months.
In 1945, after a full refurbishment, it became a designated prisoner of war camp. The camp occupied the grounds around Carrickblacker House on the main road to Gilford, Co. Down. With only a few miles between the site and the larger Elmfield Prisoner of War Camp, Carrickblacker may have been for an overflow.
Perhaps due to the end of the Second World War in Europe, no prisoners ever found themselves in this Portadown camp. On 8th January 1947, authorities auctioned off the site and its contents. The Belfast Telegraph on 2nd January 1947 carried a list of the full inventory for sale.
Contents of the 1947 Auction
|Nissen Huts||130||17ft x 36ft. Many with dormer windows and partitions.|
|Huts||4||24ft x 42ft.|
|Huts||2||24ft x 138ft.|
|Hut||1||24ft x 78ft.|
|Corrugated Asbestos Sheds|
|Galvanised Latrine Sheds|
|Ranges||6||6ft x 2ft 6 inches.|
|Ranges||2||4ft x 2ft 6 inches.|
|Ideal Boilers||2||100 Gallon Cylinder|
|White Rose Boiler||1||100 Gallon Cylinder|
|30,000 BTU||1||75 Gallon Cylinder|
|Galvanised Water Storage Tanks||13|
|30 inch Basins||10|
|Showers and Fittings|
|Barbed Wire Fencing||1 mile.|
|Electric Poles and Overhead Lines|
The newspaper listing emphasised the huts would make great garages, stores, or even temporary dwellings. All 130 Nissen Huts contained a stove to be sold as part of the hut. They also featured good quality doors. WR Hanna of College Hill, Armagh, Co. Armagh valued the site and Crotty and Aikin of 1 Donegall Street, Belfast acted as auctioneers. Teas were provided for would be buyers by Campbell Catering of Newtownards, Co. Down.
While the site was never used as a prisoner of war camp, many prisoners worked the land there. One of their labours was the back 3rd tee on the new Portadown Golf Club which stands on the Carrickblacker site. The club demolished the grand Carrickblacker House in 1988.