The Myth of the Slaughter House Pub

by Tom Slemen

Urban Legend - the "Slaughter House" that never was

Every now and then I get emails from readers, enquiring about the Slaughter House Pub on Fenwick Street in Liverpool city centre. Is it haunted by a mad butcher, and was it actually a slaughter house? Well, the answer is no to those two questions, as far as historical fact is concerned. The Slaughter House was never an abbatoir, and back in time, in the early 1800s the pub was the tame, civilised premises of a victualler named Jane Ellison. Here's a listing of the businesses that cover the numbers occupied by today's Slaughter House pub (13-17 Fenwick Street):

William Hall, accountant, 11 Fenwick Street
Jane Ellison, Victualler, 13 Fenwick Street.
William Clarke, Corn Merchant, Brownlow Street
Office at 15 Fenwick Street.
Squire and Thompson, Corn Merchants, 15 Fenwick Street
Peter Edwards, broker, office at 15 Fenwick Street.

In 1968 the pub was sold at auction to London-based Chef & Brewer, and in 1985 they sold the pub to Bass Taverns, who named it O'Neils. In 1999 the pub was renamed The Slaughter House, and a year later ownership was transferred to Voyager Group, a subsidiary of Bass Taverns. There was once a market at the bottom of Fenwick Street, but the place were the abbatoir was sited was not where the Slaughter House pub was - but in nearby Drury Lane, and I have unearthed a few grisly ghostly tales from there, because there was a pub that stood close to that abbatoir, and it wasn't today's Slaughter House pub. I'll post a few of the stories based around the pub in the near future.

© Tom Slemen 2008.