Digital Timeline Introduction

Welcome to The Old Slaughterhouse Digital Timeline! Scroll through to find a range of multimedia sources documenting the history of the site within Stratford-upon-Avon; or start here to find out more about the project and watch our short virtual reality film!


The Crowne

From 1543, the heritage centre was a Tudor Pub. In 1574 Richard Spooner became the landlord. He often did business with a John Shakespeare, you may know his son...!


The Great Fires

During 1590 two large fires devastated the town, destroying The Crowne Inn and many other buildings in Stratford. In the 16th and 17th centuries large and damaging fires were a widespread issue, although Stratford has been singled out as the unluckiest Midland town within the period. The Crowne Inn is rebuilt in 1596 by Robert Wilson.

Find out more about the great fires of Stratford-Upon-Avon…


The Baker

Richard Hathaway buys the property. The Crowne still continues on site, however, Richard Hathaway resides here and uses his quarters for his work as a baker.


The Flaxdresser

The site is used for flaxdressing by Antony Wake and then in 1792 taken over by Nathaniel and Robert Cooper. In 1830 Nathaniel Cooper is ordered to have the premises repaired after allowing it to fall into dilapidation.


Three New Shops

Owner John Gill, a wine merchant, builds the first slaughterhouse on the premises in 1833. After the death of Mr. Gill in 1848, his estate is split three ways between David Rice, Thomas Gill and John Tasker.



Late-war rationing, caused by the threat of U-boats to merchant shipping, forced the business to change in order to ensure that everyone received a fair share of meat.



Brian Henson sells the business off to Baxter's butchers in 1964, but such is the reputation of Henson's that both the staff and name remain for a further nine years.


The Renovation

In 2013, Escape Arts is offered the former slaughterhouse building for use as storage space. Karen Williams sees potential for the building and funding is granted by the Stratford Town Trust to convert the building into a heritage centre.