Timeline & Digital Archive

Escape Arts opened the Old Slaughterhouse, formerly the slaughterhouse behind Hensons Butchers, in 2015.

On our arrival to the building, a team of dedicated volunteers began a journey of discovery to find out the history of the site where the Slaughterhouse stands. They were surprised to find that the site was once part of a much larger site, encompassing most of The Yard in which the building sits and reaching the shop fronts on Bridge Street!

Research found that the site had a rich 500 year history which featured a host of different trades; besides the butchers, there was a bakers… We couldn’t find any evidence of a candlestick makers, but there was a Tudor pub called ‘The Crowne’ that occupied the site for almost 200 years, a flaxdresser, chemist, even a 15th century shoemaker!


Go Back In Time

To celebrate this rich history, the Old Slaughterhouse digital timeline was born, which takes you back through the last 500 years. The timeline brings the characters to life through virtual reality films, animation and audio recordings. This is constantly being updated as we celebrate and preserve local stories for generations to come.

There is also a commentary every century on local events in Stratford, to put the milestones at the Slaughterhouse into context.

In the centre you can put on our virtual reality googles and go back in time to meet our infamous Tudor landlord Richard Spooner, our Rope Maker Nathaniel Cooper and our fabulous butcher Mark.

Want to find out more? You can book a butchers talk with our friendly butcher who will tell you all about Hensons and life on the site. Contact [email protected] for more information.

The timeline and the website that stores it has become our own digital archive.

In addition to our multimedia timeline, you can also view our oral history projects here, featuring transcripts and videos of our films Warwickshire’s Land Girls: The Food of LoveStratford in the 60s, Remembering Hensons and 70 Years On: D-Day Remembered.

Keeping these records are incredibly important for future generations of Stratford & Warwickshire. We are lucky to have the technology we have today which makes it easy to save these stories so that they live on for generations to come.

You can also view all our past and current exhibitions here.

To find out what exhibitions are on display during your visit, please see What’s On.

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