Mutton Yard

Posted - October 04, 1997

Originally part of a slaughterhouse

Mutton Yard is a picturesque hidden courtyard off Richmond Road. These buildings were derelict and inhabited by squatters until the 1970s when they were bought by Ron Mutton of A1 Plumbing and Heating. He converted them into an office for his business and three flats which are let out to American visitors or students.

Originally they were part of a slaughterhouse, and an elderly woman resident used to tell Mr Mutton of the former ‘glories’ of the yard when pigs would squeal and run around. The slaughterhouse supplied meat to several butchers including Hedges and Pratley who are still in business. The original cobble stones are still there, though now surrounded by pretty gardens. Mr Mutton, whose initials, appropriately enough, are R.A.M., still has the original cauldron in which the offal was put to feed the pony who presumably drew the cart in which the unfortunate animals arrived.

The buildings are all quite small, so A1 has deliberately kept the office staff small so it can continue to use them. Mr Mutton’s son, also runs an enterprise from part of this miniature complex - arranging trips to India and the Far East

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Did you know?

About the church bells?

Originally the Church only had the single ‘Barney’s Bell’. In 1890, when the clock was installed, it was decided to add a set of tubular bells to ring the chimes and the hour strike, as well as a tune or ‘carillon’. The are driven by an elaborate mechanical contraption.

The history of the Phoenix?

There has been a cinema here since 1913. Orginally it the ‘North Oxford Kinema’, since when it has passed through many hands and names, including the Scala, the New Scala, the Studios 1 and 2, Studio X (a club showing soft porn) and finally in 1977 the Phoenix.