The History of the Slaughterhouse Yard, incorporating Drake Butchers in Bures
Drake Butchers started
in 1909 with a shop along Cuckoo Hill, owned by Gordon Drake Snr.
Today, no evidence is to be seen of this shop, long since demolished.
Behind this property stood the slaughterhouse, where cattle were processed.
The earliest recorded date
of a slaughterhouse in Cuckoo Hill was in 1503:-
Records indicate that slaughtering
of livestock in Cuckoo Hill had been going on for some considerable time.
railway layout at the station in 1900 shows goods sidings with cattle
pens. Reference can also be found that for over 600 years. In the 1920`s,
local surviving residents can still remember cattle being driven through
the village from the railway station up High Street to the abattoir.
After the shop in Cuckoo Hill closed down, new premises were found in the High St which served as their retail outlet, this eventually closing down in 1984.
Unfortunately slaughtering soon came to an end with the introduction of more and more stringent EU regulations.
Gordon Drake sold the abattoir in Cuckoo Hill to a Mr Thompson in 1980.
During its latter years it was used as a meat processing plant distributing pre-packed meat joints to retail outlets. The entire site eventually closed in 1984, ownership transferring to a Mr Matthews, an Insurance Broker from Chelmsford.
He subsequently rented out the property to Babergh on a 20 year lease. ( ended 2004/5)
Babergh District Council
reopened the complex, as small units for those starting up new businesses.
This has led to a diverse range of activities over the years ranging from:-
UPDATE 2013: Planning application rejected for residential development.
July 2014 - site now being cleared of
Update:- Mid November 2016. Test
soil drilling taking place on site