North Laine History

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15-16 Trafalgar St

A former slaughter house

The one remaining building associated with the meat industry in the c19th can be found (above) at No 15-16 Trafalgar St. This building with distinctive green tiles was once an abattoir and later a garage. During the c19th every stage of the meat processing industry as carried out in North Laine. There were literally dozens of slaughter houses. In Vine St alone there were seven slaughter houses in 1850 out of the 50 in Brighton whilst the 1873 OS of the area shows several in the Spring St area. Animals would be brought in from the Lower Goods Yard or walked in from the Downs to the slaughter houses of North Laine. Pigs would be kept in back yards and also slaughtered locally.

 After slaughter all of the animal would be used. Meat would go to local butchers, bones to the bone mill for use as fertiliser or porcelain with the extracted marrow being used to make glue and fat would go to the tallow chandlers or the soap works. It was the custom early in the c18th for all waste from the slaughtering process to be thrown downThe one remaining building associated with the meat industry in the c19th can be found at No 15-16 Trafalgar St. This building with distinctive green tiles was once an abattoir and later a garage. During the

There were occasions when animals escaped from their masters and caused mayhem in the area as when in on February 3rd, 1900 this story appeared in the Brighton gazette:

‘About half past seven three bullocks were peacefully passing down New England road from the railway dock, in charge of a drover named Edward Newman. Suddenly the spirit of revolt stirred the bosom  of one of the bullocks.  Turning its thoughts to the butcher who purchased it, it decided that it “didn’t want to play in his yard,” and lost no time in making the drover aware of its decision. The man did his best to bring the bullock to a better frame of mind, and keep it going in the path of duty.  The bullock, however, was in no mood for pastoral admonitions. It bellowed scornfully at all his persuasions, and, whirling a contemptuous tale in his face, rushed headlong from the path of duty into New England street, with horns down and eyes aflame, a terrifying spectacle.  The people bolted right and left.  New York Street, Fleet Street, Wood Street, and Trafalgar Street were successively struck with terror, and screams arose upon the evening air, and every available shop was used as a place of refuge.  The infur‘About half past seven three bullocks were peacefully passing down New England road from the railway dock, in charge of a drover named Edward Newman. Suddenly the spirit of revolt stirred the bosom  of one of the bullocks.  Turning its thoughts to the butcher who purchased it, it decided that it “didn’t want to play in his yard,” and lost no time in making the drover aware of its decision. The man did his best to bring the bullock to a better frame of mind, and keep it going in the path of duty.  The bullock, however




The name of this pub, The Three Jolly Butchers evokes a period when North Laine was full of slaughter houses and butchers.