About Horner's Corner (HT)
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Nestled almost dangerously on the cruciform junction where North Street, South Street, East Street and West Street converge, you will notice the collection of excavated and restored medieval buildings known collectively as Horner’s Corner.
The corner took its name from the butcher who plied his trade from the site, thus has been known by several names over time. Between 1886 and 1972, records show butchers by the name of Webster, Palmer and Horner. Horner eventually moved into the square, where a butcher still exists today.
Looking along East Street, a black timber-clad building will command your attention. Prior to restoration, this establishment was part of the historical local butcher’s shop. A large pulley wheel hangs above the second storey barn doors, minus its ominous heavy black hook.
The rear of the building held a sinister crammed abattoir. Memoirs recall animals peering over the fence, their eyes full of fear. It was usual for 19th century butchers to contain an abattoir, where they would slaughter their animals.
Rochford had three butchers at this time and collectively they would kill their animals on a Thursday evening in preparation for the weekend. The peace was broken by the commotion of the distressed animals, as gun shots cracked into the night air. Both the loud sound and smell of gunpowder carried on the wind, surrounding the neighbourhood.
The nineteenth century butcher’s shop incorporates 15th and 16th century structures in its framework. The modern day restoration won the Council’s Design Heritage and Conservation Award in 2002.
|Historical, Point of Interest, Rochford