Next time you pass the Slaughterhouse on Church St, take a moment to look up at the roofline, which has been newly rethatched.
The Slaughter House is a grade II listed building which was acquired from Shelford Building Supplies in 1977 for £1. The purchase included half the width of the land separating the building from No. 2 Church Street and a small area of land at the rear. The building had previously belonged to the Barker family (butchers of High Street, Great Shelford) and before them to the Willis family. It is believed to have been built about 1840 and served as a slaughterhouse until just before the Second World War. The Parish Council has restored it externally to what is believed to have been its original appearance. It was rethatched in 2011 and its roofline re-done again in 2023. It is currently being used to store various historic artefacts and Parish Council archived material, and is the venue for a weekly bike workshop run by local resident, Jim Chisholm.
Land behind the Slaughterhouse was surplus after Collier Way was built and was sold to the Parish Council in 1982. Part of it was used by the District Council for a footpath leading from Cox’s Close to Church Street. A further part has been devoted to the Villedômer garden, including a wayside direction stone from Villedômer. A Millennium capsule has been buried in the centre of the land. A seat commemorating the Barker family, former owners of the Slaughterhouse, was reinstated and the whole area landscaped to include additional benches and children’s play activities. There is now a desire to transform some of the space into a community orchard/meadow.