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

Did you know?

Margaret Thatcher used to live here?

In her Oxford days, she lived at 12 Richmond Road. It is alleged she shared the house with two red-hot communists who lived on a diet of sausages. This may account for her later views on socialists and known dislike of sausages.

The origins of Walton?

Walton is derived from “wall town” which was used centuries ago to indicate a location outside the Oxford city walls. The ancient manor of Walton was certainly in existence before the Norman conquest in 1066.