Built in 1831, Slaughterhouse is a beautiful building of very practical design. Located near the entrance of Royal William, cattle drovers could bring their herds from across Devon straight in the back door. Arranged along the triangular internal courtyard, where the cattle were held, was a steel columned colonnade, offal room, clerk’s office, weighing room and meat store.
At it’s busiest almost a hundred bullocks a day were slaughtered here, the meat salted into wooden barrels. In an age before refrigeration and tin cans, the salted beef from Slaughterhouse was a vital part of the Navy’s rations. We like to think that occasionally a few choice cuts skipped the salting process to supplement the local diet of fresh fish, perhaps seasoned by new flavours brought to Plymouth from all over the world.
Now Slaughterhouse, completely refurbished by Urban Splash, is looking for a new purpose. It’s still the grand, classical, practical building designed by Rennie at the height of the Pax Britannia, with stunning stone walls, exposed wooden beams and steel columned colonnade, but with the benefit of contemporary refurbishment. Set in the bustling Royal William Yard, Slaughterhouse has an amazing frontage to the water as well as the new boardwalk.
Put simply, Slaughterhouse is just waiting to become a bustling waterside restaurant, bar, office, shop or gallery with great neighbours and fantastic footfall. It’s also the only opportunity to have your very own building in Royal William Yard.
There’s even a cow or two around the place…