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Sissinghurst Castle was used as a prison for up to 3,000 French sailors who were captured by the British during the Seven Years War. Held for months at a time in vile, stinking conditions, the prisoners lived in 'cells' with little access to fresh air, clean water or adequate food supplies.
This picture above is a remarkable insight into what the site would have looked like in the 17th century. The original painting is on display in the library.