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Harrison Barber—Horse Slaughterers

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  • Just for reference, bottom left is Jack’s Castle; next to that is the Fortune of War pub and behind the pub is Atcheler’s Yard. Entering by a gate to the right of the pub, you would have passed a range of small houses before arriving at the knacker’s yard proper. Looking at the ventilation on the rooves of two of the three sheds in the yard, I would imagine that they were where the boiling of bones and flesh went on.
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    • It seems John Atcheler must had set up his business in Belle Isle by at least 1848. That was the first year he was granted a license to knacker in Islington. Had he by that early date got wind of the potential removal of the Smithfield livestock market to Islington? Or of the intended clearance of Sharp’s Alley to make way for the Metropolitan Railway? Or was it that he simply needed more space or wanted to move part of his operations somewhere beyond the reach of the City of London Corporation? He didn’t move out of Sharp’s Alley until 1852 and the Metropolitan Cattle Market didn’t open in Copenhagen Fields until 1855.


      1848, you may remember, was the year in which a ‘green’ carman accidentally delivered a load of diseased meat that was consigned to Atcheler to the sausage maker next door. Atcheler vehemently denied that there was any connection between his business and his neighbour’s, although in court he displayed a certain familiarity with the process of sausage making.
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