The Friends exists to promote interest in all things connected to the history of Norman Cross and its setting, in particular the Napoleonic Prisoner of War depot that existed on this site from 1797 to 1814.
One of the soldiers stationed at the depot in 1799 later wrote an account of his garrison duty there. He recalled that in Autumn of that year his regiment proceeded:
"....to Norman Cross for the purpose of guarding some thousands of unhappy Frenchmen, cooped up in that place and clothed in yellow (the prison dress), to expiate their revolutionary sins by many years captivity and exile in loathsome prison, cut off from family and friends.
Their necessities forced them to exert their ingenuity in making various curious toys which the disposed of at a very low rate to enable them to procure a few comforts to alleviate their extreme wretchedness.....for want of clothes many of them suffered every privation rather than be clad in a conspicuous and humiliating colour."