York Town Square

Part of the USAToday Network

Digging Camp Security: 10 ways to know more about York’s British POW camp


First they tilled the Springettsbury Township field, and then volunteers and trained archaeologists went to work. They found some 18th-century artifacts, significant because this could be the site of Camp Security, the British prisoner-of-war camp that operated from 1781 to 1783.  Also of interest:  Researcher pulling together strands to weave story of British POW Camp Security.

The other day, a knowledgeable York countian said he never really understood Camp Security. He thought for years the camp from the American Revolution was run by the British. But then after seeing news of the dig on the presumed site, he understood that the Redcoats did not cross the Susquehanna River. In fact, 2,000-something British prisoners were detained at the site.

So there’s one example of the value of the archaeological work in Springettsbury Township.

So whether you’re catching up or just want to know more about the camp and the dig there this week, here are 10 links that will help.

1. This shows day-by-day development through Day 4: Camp Security dig.   Follow this for developments as the dig progresses.



To get you oriented, this video shows work early in the dig.




These were some artifacts found early in the week. As expected, some artifacts uncovered in the dig have been eras other than the period of most interest – the Revolutionary War. More: Found during the Camp Security dig.


4. Yorkblogger June Lloyd has perhaps the richest collection of research on Camp Security all in one place. Check out Camp Security on her Universal York blog.  This collection also has profiles of several prison guards who toiled there.


5. The Friends of Camp Security’s website also has full details about the dig and the camp. The organization is largely responsible for raising awareness – and funds – to acquire the land where the camp is believed to have operated.


This drawing from a Camp Security prisoner gives an first-hand depiction of the stockade at Camp Security. It was also used by fundraisers to keep interest in acquisition of the land alive. For details: Camp Security was not secure.


7. This aerial photo shows the chunks of land acquired over the years to make way for this week’s dig.


8.  Yorkblogger Stephen H. Smith is a specialist on Springettsbury Township, among many other historical pursuit. Check out his posts  that cover Camp Security, in full or in part. Also, these YorkTownSquare posts deal with Camp Security.


9. OK, time to see what you know. Follow the link for 10 questions about the camp.





10. Paydirt!