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Horndon History Hunt

Reddingtons Butchers


This small butchers shop is situated within a nineteenth century cottage, and where the garage now sits, between the cottage and the footpath leading alongside the Bell Inn, there used to be the entrance to the slaughter house behind the shop. Cattle, sheep and pigs were purchased as necessary from Stanford le Hope market, held on Tuesdays, and then driven up the hill to the village. As the cattle approached the shop they would smell the slaughter house and either dig their heels in and refuse to move, or else they would charge ahead through the village. The local boys, under the guise of being helpful, would wait until the animals were near the shop, and the drovers still walking up the hill, then they would scatter the animals. A long and wearisome chase and search for the missing animals would then ensure.

When Fred Skelton was the butcher during World War II, some German prisoners were camped in the village. Two German soldiers went into the shop and one day offered to make some saveloys for him to sell. He agreed, and with their officers consent they often returned to work. Mr Skelton learned a lot from them on the manufacture of saveloys and German sausage, and the creation of home-made sausages continues to this day as the current owner creates a range of sausages in various flavours - I can definitely recommend you try his Welsh Dragon variety!

Words adapted from: Tinworth, W.M., Saffron Cider and Honey: A Town Trail of Horndon on the Hill, Horndon on the Hill Society (1985)

Photos provided by residents of Horndon on the Hill. To see full quality photos visit

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