Amongst the clauses of the Public Health Act 1875 which affect the
duties of the town surveyor will be found the following:
“Any urban authority may purchase or take on lease, lay out, plant,
improve, and maintain lands for the purpose of being used as public
walks or pleasure grounds, and may support or contribute to the support
of public walks or pleasure grounds provided by any person whomsoever.
“Any urban authority may make bye-laws for the regulation of any such
public walk or pleasure ground, and may by such bye-laws provide for the
removal from such public walk or pleasure ground of any person
infringing any such bye-law by any officer of the urban authority or
constable” (38 & 39 Vic. c. 55, s. 164).
There are very few, if any, cities or towns in this country that have
not availed themselves of this clause, even if they did not already
possess one if not more public parks or pleasure grounds of some
description, these having either been given by some benevolent citizen
or acquired in some other manner by the urban authority.
Included in the powers given by the above clause are no doubt those
regulating the acquisition and support of recreation or public
playgrounds, public walks, or old city walls or other places, and
disused burying grounds.
In connection with the above clause of the Public Health Act, the town
surveyor may have the following duties to perform:
To advise his corporation upon the value, suitability, and desirability
of any site that is intended for use as a public park or recreation
ground, and after its acquisition to adapt it for the requisite
purposes. To effect this it must be drained and laid out with
carriage-drives, walks, lawns, flower-beds, plantations, and sometimes
streams, waterfalls, and lakes. He must design and erect the necessary
lodges, entrance gates, fences, shelters, seats, band-stands, and
fountains, and must afterwards superintend the maintenance of these and
the rest of the works in connection with the pleasure ground.
It would be impossible to lay down any rules for the guidance of a
surveyor in carrying out these works, for each case must be dealt with
as its exigencies require, and a great deal of common sense, as well as
engineering, architectural, and artistic skill must be displayed by him
in carrying out any works of this description, details of which could
not possibly be given in a book of this size dealing with so many
A few suggestions may, however, be of some service on these points.
Public playgrounds for children should be composed of large, level,
well-rolled, gravelled spaces, with a few trees for shade, and some
sheds for shelter. Turf soon gets spoiled and worn bare, when it is not
so pleasant as well-rolled gravel, as it is far more dusty in dry
weather and very damp in wet, besides having an uncared-for appearance.
In public parks, shrubs planted singly directly on the lawns without any
beds around them have a very pleasing look, although it adds somewhat to
the difficulty of mowing the grass. The grass itself is greatly improved
if it is well dressed with manure in the spring and constantly watered
all the year round.
Paths should be gravelled in the autumn, care being taken to wait until
all the leaves have fallen, which are swept up and removed at once. A
good fence for a path, if any protection is necessary, is either a
strained wire fence or cast-iron hoops representing bent sticks. They
are both cheap, and stand well against weather and rough treatment.
A very economical and neat border to the footpaths can be made from the
old used-up flagstones from the foot pavements of the streets, these cut
up and placed on edge, especially if in conjunction with a pitched
channel gutter of pebbles, look remarkably well.
Ornamental flints make a pretty border, but they are nasty things for a
child to fall upon.
For flower-beds a flat border or edge of ivy has a very telling effect.
If there are ponds or lakes in the park there should be a broad path or
road close to the water’s edge. It is surprising what a great advantage
in effect this has over the plan of leaving a strip of green between the
path and the water.
The selection of the proper shrubs for a park and their distribution is
a matter that requires the advice of an expert gardener. The following
list of ordinary shrubs that will thrive well almost anywhere in this
country may however be of use for reference:
With regard to the selection of trees, this also requires skilled
advice, but a list is given further on in this chapter, of trees
suitable for street planting, which may be also some guide in this
In high gales of wind the surveyor may be expected to endeavour to save
valuable trees in a public park from being blown down. This may
sometimes be effected by a judicious application of chains or ropes, but
the better plan is to keep all trees well pruned and as free as possible
from “top hamper” and undue leverage from overhanging limbs.
On the pruning of trees and the removal of large limbs I must refer my
readers to a most admirable little book recently published in America,
being a translation from the celebrated ‘Treatise on Pruning Forest and
Ornamental Trees, by A. des Cars,’ which enters most fully into the
subject, and being of great practical value, should be studied by anyone
who has anything to do with the care of forest or other trees.
With regard to the planting of trees along the sides of streets, our
French neighbours are much in advance of us. It is true that in
this country, owing to the much larger consumption of coal as a domestic
fuel, there is more soot in the air, but it is erroneous to suppose that
trees will not thrive well in England. No doubt the moisture of our
climate causes the soot or “blacks” to adhere to the leaves and limbs of
the trees, but for that reason deciduous and not evergreen trees should
be selected for planting in towns, and these, if well chosen and
carefully planted, will most undoubtedly fully repay their first cost
and maintenance by the additional beauty to the street, the agreeable
shade they cast, and their generally healthful action on the population.
In selecting trees to plant along the sides of the streets or roads in
any towns, it is well to bear in mind that the following qualities are
The tree must be hardy; it must not be affected by a long-continued
drought; heat must not wither it nor make it look rusty; it must be able
to withstand dust, smoke, soot, foul air, and the insidious attacks of
insects, and be able to recover from any malicious or accidental injury
it may receive.
The tree must be of rapid growth, and develope a straight, clean stem
with shady foliage. It must be graceful either in full leaf or when bare
as in winter; its roots must not require too much room, and they must be
able to withstand the effects of pollution or rough treatment.
Although the foregoing list of requirements may seem rather formidable,
yet amongst the trees whose names now follow there will be found some
which meet many, if not all of these requirements, and which, if
properly planted with all reasonable care, may be expected to thrive if
planted at the sides of the streets in any town in this country.
LIST OF TREES SUITABLE FOR PLANTING AT THE SIDES OF STREETS.
Double Cherry, etc.
Of the above list the western plane for many reasons is the most
desirable. Its freshness when it bursts into green buds is well known,
and it is proverbial for its hardiness.
The lime was at one time the most popular tree for this purpose, but it
has several defects, the most notable being that its leaves wither
before the summer is over, and the tree assumes a lifeless look at a
time when most shade and freshness are required of it.
Of the remainder of the trees I have enumerated some are slow in growth,
which is a considerable drawback; others are not wholly free from being
affected by cold winds in the spring or by lice in the winter, and the
assistance of an expert is very necessary in selecting trees for this
Whatever trees are selected, the following precautions should be taken:
The young tree should have been well nourished in its nursery before
removal, and should on no account be planted in the street until its
stem is nearly 10 feet in height and about 3 inches in diameter. The
stem should be clean and straight, and the whole tree symmetrical.
The great difficulty in this country is to obtain sufficient numbers of
trees of the exact size and description, when it becomes necessary to
plant out a street. They have often to be imported, when it is found
that they are frequently unsuited both for soil and climate, besides
being very costly; thus many failures have arisen in consequence. To
obviate this necessity in Paris the Government have for many years
instituted and maintained special nurseries where trees are grown for
this purpose alone, these nurseries being situated at Passy, the Jardin
Fleuriste, and Petit Buy, no less than 115 men being constantly employed
in the work. Some further particulars will be given presently on the
cost of this work.
The trees thus nourished and selected should be planted in the autumn,
for there is a well-known saying that “a tree planted before Christmas
can be _ordered_ to grow; if planted after Christmas it must be _asked_
to do so”; and there is no doubt that if trees are planted too late in
the season great difficulty in getting them to grow is generally
The excavated pits must be well drained, and filling the bottom of the
pit with rubble is a good plan. The further the tree can be planted from
the kerb the better, so as not only to give it a larger body of soil,
but to lessen the risk of killing the tree by the pollution of the
ground with gas from a defective main, and also excess of moisture from
the channel gutters. The distance apart of the trees is a matter of
choice. In Paris this is only 16 to 18 feet, but I think half a chain
(33 feet) is quite close enough; it economises trees and gives plenty of
room for the limbs of each tree to spread, and the intermediate
lamp-posts, watering hydrants, or other standards are not crowded out.
Each tree should have a cast-iron grating around its roots similar to
the following drawing:–
This should be about 4 feet square. It prevents the ground getting hard
about the trees, and permits air and water to enter to the roots. It
also makes it easy to give any attention to the trees that they may
require when young, such as manuring, digging, &c.
The tree should also be protected with a slight iron grill or railing to
prevent mischievous persons from cutting their names on the trunk,
climbing up into the tree, or breaking off its branches whilst still
young. The following sketch shows the description of grill necessary,
which is light, cheap, and at the same time effective.
The following interesting particulars of the manner in which street
planting of trees is conducted in Paris will be useful, and are given
“When the boulevarde is marked out and levelled, if the soil is of bad
quality, as is nearly always the case, trenches are dug in the footway
from one end of the boulevarde to the other. The width of this trench is
usually about 6 feet, and its depth 4 or 5; and before filling it in
drain-pipes are laid along the sides made with lapped joints so that the
roots shall not enter between them. The trench is then filled with good
garden earth, raising it a little higher than the level so as to allow
for settling. In this ground the trees are planted about 6 yards apart.
They should be carefully chosen with perfect roots, and moderately
pruned. Formerly the stem was cut at about 9 feet from the ground, but
this had the bad effect of preventing the top of the tree from being
straight, and the practice has been given up. The trees are next staked
and tied with wire over a neat wad of straw, which prevents all injury
to the stem. A protecting cage, neither heavy nor very expensive, is
placed round the tree to prevent accidents; and if the weather be at all
dry at the time of planting, the trees are copiously watered.”
The cost of planting a tree in the Paris boulevarde is thus given:
15 cubic metres of excavation at 4 francs =60·00
15 cubic metres of vegetable mould at 4 francs =60·00
Training poles about 5 metres in height = 1·50
Average deduction of 15 per cent. resulting from
letting by tender 18·23
Price by contract 103·27
Pipe drainage and materials 11·15
Watering appliance (average) 2·50
Cast iron grating round the base 46·69
Transport of tree from nursery 2·00
Planting, including stakes 3·00
Iron basket (to protect stem) 8·70
The tree 5·00
Labour for planting 1·69
The maintenance of each tree costs 1·58 francs.
The total cost, therefore, of each tree capitalised reaches about 8_l._,
and its life is said not to exceed twelve years.
Before closing this chapter it is well to advert to the evident
importance that the legislature attach to the planting and preservation
of trees along the sides of the public streets in this country and their
desire to protect them, as the following clause of the Public Health Act
1875 will show. “. . . Any person who, without the consent of the urban
authority, wilfully displaces or takes up, or who injures the pavement,
stones, materials, fences, or posts of, _or the trees_ in any such
street shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds, and to a
further penalty not exceeding five shillings for every square foot of
pavement, stones, or other materials so displaced, taken up, or injured;
he shall also be liable in the case of _any injury to trees_ to pay to
the local authority such amount of compensation as the court may award”
(38 & 39 Vic. c. 55, s. 149).
It is a great source of regret that mischievous persons can be found who
by their wilful malice injure the trees planted at the sides of streets
out of the public funds and with great expense and trouble.
 By the “Commons Act 1876,” powers were given to acquire and lay
out commons for purposes of public recreation, etc.
 Upon this latter point _Vide_ 24 & 25 Vic. c. 61, s. 21.
 As a preservative against the malicious disfigurement of wooden
seats, I have seen the following inscription placed upon some seats in
an old public park, “Never cut a friend,” and it had apparently the
 As an instance of the size and importance works of this
description may assume, the Bois de Boulogne, Paris, is an example. It
covers an area of 2000 acres, of which one half is forest, one quarter
is grass, one-eighth roads, and about 70 acres is water. One of the
most beautifully arranged public parks in this country is Sefton Park,
Liverpool, where the most perfect arrangements of lawns, plantations,
lakes and drives, have been carried out.
 ‘A Treatise on Pruning Forest and Ornamental Trees,’ by A. des
Cars, translated from the 7th French edition, with an introduction by
Charles S. Sargent, etc. Published by A. Williams and Co., Boston,
 In Paris in the year 1880, there were 90,000 trees in the
streets, besides 20,000 more in the cemeteries. (_Vide_ Report of Mr.
Till, the Borough Surveyor of Birmingham, 20th December, 1880.) There
are also upwards of 8000 seats in public places; the trees and seats
costing nearly 100,000_l._ per annum to maintain.
 _Vide_ ‘The Parks, Promenades, and Gardens of Paris,’ by W.
Robinson, F.L.S., 1869, p. 128.
 _Vide_ ‘L’Architecte,’ 20th November, 1880, p. 370.
The following is the clause of the Public Health Act 1875 which empowers
an urban authority to establish public slaughter-houses (or
“abattoirs“ as they are sometimes called) for the purposes of the
district they govern:
“Any urban authority may, if they think fit, provide slaughter-houses,
and they shall make bye-laws with respect to the management and charges
for the use of any slaughterhouses so provided.
“For the purpose of enabling any urban authority to regulate
slaughter-houses within their district, the provisions of the Towns
Improvement Clauses Act 1847, with respect to slaughter-houses, shall be
incorporated with this Act.
“Nothing in this section shall prejudice or affect any rights, powers,
or privileges of any persons incorporated by any local Act passed before
the passing of the Public Health Act 1848, for the purpose of making and
maintaining slaughter-houses” (38 & 39 Vic. c. 55, s. 169).
The great necessity for the establishment of one or more public
slaughter-houses in any town can only fully be realised by persons who
will take the trouble to inspect those which are private; they are
generally placed near the shops of the butchers for the sake of
convenience, the result being that they are situated in the central
portions of the town and are thus surrounded by closely packed
dwellings. The private slaughter house often consists of a stable or
shed which has been converted into an ill-designed slaughter-house,
badly paved, with imperfect drainage; they are frequently not
sufficiently lighted, ventilated or drained, and are utterly unfitted
for the purposes for which they are used.
Their position also is often so badly chosen that the children in the
vicinity resort there to see the animals killed, and the poor beasts
have in some cases to be driven through a narrow passage into the
slaughter-house itself, where, trembling at the sight and smell of the
blood and carcasses of its dead companions, it remains tethered until
its turn comes to fall a victim to the blow of the slaughter-man: a blow
which sometimes has often to be repeated before its object is attained,
owing to the bad light and cramped surroundings of the place.
As these slaughter-houses are generally rented by the butcher using them
at large rentals (such accommodation being scarce), it is not to be
expected that he will spend much money to improve property which is not
his own; but notwithstanding the loss of weight incurred by the animal
to be slaughtered thus fretting and sweating in its terror, the damage
to the meat by its being dressed in the same locality with the live
beast, steaming and smelling in the vicinity, and the exorbitant rents
demanded, still there are great objections always raised by butchers in
towns to the establishment of public slaughter-houses. These objections
are based by them on the following grounds:
They contend that the carriage of the meat from the slaughter-house to
their shop deprives them of some of their profits; that slaughtering
their animals in the presence of other butchers leads to disparaging
remarks and trade jealousies, and that they sometimes are robbed of fat,
These arguments are groundless if the public abattoir is properly
designed, is in a suitable locality, and is well managed.
There are no powers by which butchers can be compelled to abandon
private slaughter-houses, and use those provided by the urban authority,
so long as the bye-laws of the authority are not infringed; but as the
law stands at present, private slaughter-houses may be licensed (10 & 11
Vic. c. 34, ss. 125, 126) or registered (10 & 11 Vic. c. 34, s. 127),
and the only manner in which they could be closed (which would then
compel the butcher to use the public abattoir) would be by putting the
129th section of the same Act in force, which states that the justices
before whom any person is convicted of killing or dressing cattle
contrary to the provision of the Act, or of the non-observance of any
bye-law or regulation of the local authority, in addition to the penalty
may suspend _the licence_ for any period not exceeding two months; or in
the case of the owner of any _registered_ slaughter-house may forbid for
any period not exceeding two months, the slaughtering of cattle therein.
For a second or other subsequent like offence, in addition to the
penalty the justices may revoke the licence or absolutely forbid the
slaughtering of cattle in the particular house or yard. In such an event
the local authority may refuse to grant any _licence_ whatever to the
person whose licence has been revoked, or on account of whose default
the slaughtering of cattle in any _registered_ slaughter-house has been
With reference to the establishment anew of the business of a
slaughterer of cattle in London, the following particulars required to
be deposited by the applicant with the Metropolitan Board of Works will
A plan of the premises and sections of the building drawn to a scale of
¹⁄₄-inch to the foot and showing the proposed or existing arrangements
for drainage, lighting, ventilation, and water supply, with a key plan
of the locality, have to be deposited, as well as replies to the
(1.) State what place for the accommodation or poundage of the cattle
about to be slaughtered is provided; if such place has an entrance way
for the cattle otherwise than through the slaughter-house; if separated
from the slaughter-house by a brick partition with a door; and also what
provision is made therein for watering animals.
(2.) State if slaughter-house and its poundage is within 20 feet of an
inhabited building; and if it has any entrance opening directly on a
(3.) State if the entrance to the premises is apart from and independent
of any shop or dwelling-house; if from a street at the side or rear; and
also the height of the entrance gates.
(4.) State the dimensions of the slaughter-house, length, breadth,
height to eaves, and construction of the roof; and give similar
information about the poundage.
(5.) State if slaughter-house and poundage are drained by glazed pipes
communicating with public sewer, or how; how drains are trapped; and if
gratings have openings greater than three-eighths of an inch across.
(6.) State if floors are below level of outside road or footway, and if
paved with asphalte, or flag-stone set in cement, or how.
(7.) State how walls of slaughter-house are constructed, and if they are
covered with hard smooth and impervious material to a height of at least
4 feet; and, if so, state what material is used, and to what height it
(8.) State how slaughter-house and poundage are lighted, if with
lantern, sky, or side-lights, or otherwise.
(9.) State how ventilated, if by openings, windows, louvre boards, or
(10.) State what provision is made for water-supply, the capacity of the
cistern, and at what height it is placed above floor level.
(11.) State if any watercloset, privy, urinal, cesspool, or stable, is
within, or communicates directly with the slaughter-house.
(12.) State if any rooms or lofts are constructed, or proposed to be
constructed, over the slaughter-house.
(13.) State if the premises will be provided with all the necessary and
most approved apparatus and tackle for the slaughtering of cattle.
Having thus far dealt with private slaughter-houses, I will now turn to
the question of the provision of public establishments of the kind by
the urban authority, for it is usually the duty of the town surveyor to
advise his corporation upon such a matter.
First, as to the site of the proposed public abattoir, this depends
greatly upon what sites are at the command of the town; it should if
possible be near the cattle market to prevent the passage of animals
through the streets, not only on account of the great public
inconvenience, but also the loss of weight to the animal and the
heated and bad state into which its blood becomes from the exercise, and
the violent blows of the drovers’ sticks.
The site would be isolated and yet not too far from the shops of the
butchers, or the cost of carriage of the meat will be considerable; it
is almost needless to say that it should be easily and effectively
drained, and the more air with which it can be surrounded the better. It
is imperative that the entrance for the live beasts should be separate
from the exit of the dead meat, and the approach roads to the site
should not be narrow.
In laying out the site every town surveyor must use his own judgment,
but the following plan on which the site of the excellent public
abattoir at Manchester is laid out may serve as some guide for this
purpose, although of course this establishment is on a very large scale
indeed, and is in connection with a carcass market more than 500 feet
[Illustration: PLAN OF MANCHESTER SLAUGHTER-HOUSE.]
In designing an abattoir on a large scale provision for the following
accommodation should be considered.
(1.) _Lairs for cattle and pens for sheep._
These should be separated from the slaughter-house by a smaller
temporary lair in which the beast whose turn has come can be fastened to
the halter by which he is dragged into the slaughter-house, the sides of
the door-way being lined with iron for this purpose. The paving of the
lairs may be of asphalte, but care must be taken that near the door of
slaughter-house, the paving is of pitchers or something that is not at
all slippery, as here the frightened beast often struggles and draws
back when he sees the “engines of destruction” in the slaughter-house,
and smells the blood of those who have gone before.
The lairs must be thoroughly well drained, lighted, and ventilated, and
troughs for hay and water placed for each beast, for although the
animals are not expected to remain long in the lairs before being
killed, still it is very important that they should be well and kindly
treated, and rest, so that they may obtain their normal condition before
A door easily closed should shut off the lair from the slaughter-house,
as it is open to question, if animals do not see with fear the hapless
fate of their comrades; for this and other obvious reasons the animals
must on no account be permitted to pass through the slaughter-house to
reach the lair.
The lairs should be well lighted artificially, as a great deal of
slaughtering is conducted before and after daylight.
(2.) _The slaughter-houses._
These may be separate or in one long building used in common by the
butchers; both systems have their advantages and disadvantages.
The long building has the advantage of greater economy in erection and
of management, as one inspector can see from end to end of it. Where
also a large site is not available greater advantage can be taken of a
slaughter-house erected on this plan, as several butchers can slaughter
in turn; the lairs, however, must be kept separate. The butchers do not
like this plan, but prefer privacy, and a great deal of “horse play” is
sometimes indulged in by the slaughtermen at work in a large building.
The method of payment for the use of a slaughter-house of this
description cannot well be by rent, but by head of animal slaughtered,
and this is open to the objection of possible fraud. It is necessary
also to have separate slaughter-houses for the sheep and the pigs.
Whether the slaughter-houses are constructed separately or in one long
building, the detail requirements are much the same.
The pavement of the floor should be placed on concrete and it should be
constructed of some material that is easily cleansed, is impervious to
moisture, and is not slippery either wet or dry. It must also be of
sufficient durability, and be strong enough to bear the weight of the
dead-meat carts which have to back in over it under the beams carrying
the carcasses, should there be no dead meat market in connection with
the slaughter-house as at Manchester, Dundee, &c.
The requirements of such a floor are met by good natural compressed or
mastic asphalte. The necessary holes for the reception of the flaying
sticks used in many parts of England can be easily managed by inserting
either small brass sockets specially made, or more simply by pieces of
gas-pipe cut into lengths of about an inch set tight in the asphalte.
The walls of the slaughter-house must be of sufficient strength to carry
the beams or girders of the overhead hoisting gear, as well as some tons
of hanging carcasses, as will presently be explained.
The inside of these walls must be lined to a height of about 6 feet
above the floor line with some material which is impervious and easily
cleansed. Glazed white tiles or bricks are sometimes used for this
purpose, but are apt to get chipped or broken, and I have found that
asphalte, although dark in colour, answers the purpose admirably, and is
With regard to the drainage of the slaughter-house, this should, if
possible, be so arranged that there are no gratings or gully-pits in the
house itself. The floor should fall about 1 in 30 from the lairs to the
cart doors, so that everything should pass outside into a gutter in
which the necessary gratings and gully-pits can be arranged. If this is
thought to be objectionable, pits with double gratings, the lower one
being only a plate with perforated holes, can be placed in the
slaughter-house so as to prevent any solid matter whatever from entering
the drains, and these pits can be united by short drains with gully-pits
outside. The double grating should in any case be inserted, as by this
means all solid matter is kept out of the drains: a very important
The cart doors should be made sliding, and not hinged, or great
inconvenience will be experienced, and they must be made wide enough for
the carts to back in easily.
In some slaughter-houses the killing ring to which the beast is attached
whilst the blow from the poleaxe is given consists of a strong
horse-shoe shaped piece of iron projecting about 24 inches from the wall
at a height of about 18 inches, and having a ring in the top curve,
whilst in others the killing ring is on the floor, thus–
and in others an iron pillar standing up from the floor is used, which
is considered the best plan, as the beast should stand in a natural and
easy position at about a right angle from the feller.
The lighting of the slaughter-house should be effected from the roof, as
a good and steady light is essential to the men engaged in this
business. An awkward cut may seriously damage good beef or mutton. Care
must, however, be taken to exclude the glare of the sun, and the
ventilation should be carefully arranged by louvres easily manipulated.
Water should be plentifully laid on at a good pressure, so as to ensure
thorough flushing, &c., and the necessary taps should be recessed in the
walls, as everything in a building of this description should be kept as
flush as possible, or it will be damaged. In some slaughter-houses hot
water is laid on, and this is a great boon to the butchers and much
appreciated by them.
Gas must of course be laid on, as much slaughtering takes place during
The machinery for hoisting the beasts and slinging the carcasses
requires to be effective, simple, and very strong, as it is subjected to
the roughest treatment, and such machinery has been patented and is
erected by Messrs. John Meiklejon and Son, of Dalkeith, on very
This machinery hoists the beast by simply pulling on an endless chain.
It remains suspended at any height, and can be equally easily lowered.
The divided carcass can be placed upon hooks at any point along the
girders above without being touched, and it can be taken off again and
lowered on to a man’s shoulders or into the cart direct, and in fact,
speaking from my own experience, this machinery is very perfect.
The carcasses of the sheep are hung by hand upon hooks projecting from
rails which are placed at a convenient height around the walls of the
In some abattoirs the sheep slaughter-houses are distinct from those
used for killing beasts, and this method has many advantages.
Before proceeding to describe the further requirements of an abattoir or
group of slaughter-houses, I think the following plan will be of use to
show the arrangement which I have described with regard to lairs and
SECTION THROUGH A.B.]
The following plan shows the arrangements adopted in the Metropolitan
Cattle Market slaughter-houses:
[Illustration: METROPOLITAN CATTLE MARKET SLAUGHTER-HOUSES.]
(3.) _The condemned meat department._
This should consist of a lair for suspected cattle, a lair and
slaughter-house for the condemned cattle similar to that already
described, and a condemned meat store: this being the place where not
only all the diseased animals’ carcasses are temporarily stored pending
destruction, but also any meat of sound beasts that may have gone bad
after killing, &c. The whole of the meat thus placed in the condemned
store must be taken to the boiling-down house, where it is destroyed by
being boiled down to fat, which is disposed of for various trade
The following description of the method employed for this purpose at the
Deptford Foreign Cattle Market will here be of use:
“There are several killing houses for diseased cattle, and excellent
apparatus for boiling down condemned meat. For this purpose two boilers
are suspended from a strong platform through which they pass, and the
bottoms of them are several feet above the floor. They are each 4 feet 6
inches in diameter and 10 feet in length under platform. At the bottom
the cylinder tapers to 2 feet 8 inches in diameter. Under this there is
a semispherical bottom to the boiler hinged and kept shut by a
back-weighted lever and screws. On the top of each there is a
semispherical cover and safety valve.
“There is an iron crane and windlass for lifting off and on the covers.
After the boilers are charged with diseased meat the covers are made
secure and steam let into them near the bottom. There is a cock in the
bottom of each for running off the liquid at certain stages into a trap
grating in the floor under it, and conducted into a cement cistern
outside of the boiling-house, from which it is periodically removed.
Whether any use is made of the tallow produced I am not informed. The
bones when removed are quite porous, of a very white colour, and nearly
as light as cork. I presume that they will be sold for being converted
into bone manure. I understand these large boilers are not very often
used, and that a small close galvanized iron cylinder, 2 feet 9 inches
in diameter, and 2 feet 6 inches high, placed 15 inches above the
ground, having cock at bottom, steam pipe at side, and portable lid,
does most of the work very efficiently.”
(4.) _The pig-killing department._
This should be separate from the ordinary slaughter-house, as the styes
for pigs must be differently arranged to the cattle lairs, and a boiler
house is necessary, as boiling water must be had for scalding and
dressing the carcasses. Special iron troughs with false bottoms have
been arranged by Messrs. Meiklejon, which greatly facilitate this part
of the butcher’s work, and simple hoisting apparatus over these troughs
lifts the carcase in and out, and carries it off to the cooling or
hanging room, which must of necessity be separate from the killing and
scalding rooms. Drainage, lighting, ventilation and floors should be
similar to those described for the slaughter-houses, and plenty of lime
wash can be used with advantage here as well as in the main
(5.) _The blood house._
The blood of the slaughtered animals, which formerly was allowed to run
away, has been found to contain a most valuable aniline dye, and for
this purpose it is now collected and taken to the blood-houses, where in
order to obtain this dye it is necessary to place the blood in shallow
tins, where it is warmed by steam-pipes, the liquid is then drawn off,
which is the albumen from which the dye is extracted, the residuum left
in the trays is of the consistency of jelly, and is sold for manure.
(6.) _The tripery._
This is provided in large abattoirs for the purpose of preparing the
tripe and feet of the slaughtered animals, and in the Glasgow public
slaughter-houses this is effected by the corporation free of charge by
special machinery adapted for the purpose.
(7.) _The tallow market._
Where tallow is melted down, and moulded in shapes for manufacturers’
(8.) _The hide store._
This is where the hides and sheep skins are weighed and temporarily
stored, sometimes in connection with this are–
(9.) _Sale rooms_; for the hides, skins of sheep, &c., and tallow.
In addition to the above requirements may be mentioned,
(10.) _A superintendent’s dwelling-house and office._
(11.) _A gate keeper’s dwelling-house and office._
(12.) _A weighing machine and office._
(13.) _A convenient room_ for the meetings of the committee of the
corporation having charge of the slaughter-house.
(14.) _Waiting rooms_ for dealers, drovers, slaughtermen, and butchers,
(15.) _Store-rooms and a joiner’s workshop._
(16.) _Stables and shedding_ for the horses and carts of the jobbers and
(17.) _Lofts for straw and hay_; the former should be provided free by
the corporation, the latter on payment of so much per diem for each
(18.) _The necessary urinal and w. c. accommodation._
With regard to the provision to be made for storing the dung and waste
refuse from public slaughter-houses, I am strongly of opinion that there
should not be any fixed receptacle for such matters, but that covered
carts should be provided, which could stand in convenient positions and
be removed every day, a fresh and clean cart being substituted at once
for the one removed; by this means all nuisance is avoided.
Speaking of public abattoirs, in a recent lecture on Industrial
Nuisances, Dr. C. W. Chancellor, of the Maryland State Board of Health
U.S.A., gives some advice on the management of slaughter-houses. He
says: “During the process of slaughtering as much care as possible
should be taken to prevent the discharge of blood or other animal matter
upon the floor of the slaughter-house, upon the surrounding earth, or
into an open stream. The contents of the viscera should, with the blood,
offal and other garbage, be placed in impervious, covered, moveable
receptacles, constructed of galvanized iron or other non-absorbent
material, and removed from the premises without undue delay. Where hides
or skins are necessarily retained for a day or two before they can be
removed, they might without injury be advantageously brushed over on the
fleshy side with a solution of carbolic acid or some other antiseptic.
Fat should be freely exposed to the air in a cool place. As soon as the
slaughtering is completed the whole slaughter-house, floor and walls,
should be thoroughly washed. All the vessels and implements used in the
slaughtering should be kept clean and sweet. Deodorizers may sometimes
be used with advantage.”
There can be no doubt that whereas private slaughter-houses are
frequently a most injurious nuisance to the neighbourhood in which they
are placed, owing to their situation and construction, and a visit to
one of them is likely to give a strong impetus to vegetarianism, the
public abattoir, on however large a scale, if properly constructed and
managed, need be no nuisance whatever, and every town in the kingdom
should endeavour to obtain one, not only on account of the nuisance
caused by private slaughter-houses, but for the incentive which is given
to butchers to abstain from slaughtering diseased or unwholesome
animals, the prevention of cruelty, and the material benefits derived in
a proper establishment for the best methods of dressing the meat.
 The word “abattoir” is a French word from “abattre” to fell, it
is used in this country to designate a group of slaughter-houses.
 The clauses referred to are contained in 10 & 11 Vic. c. 34, and
are ss. 125, 126, et seq.; they refer to the registration, licensing
and management of private slaughter-houses, and need not be commented
 An ordinary beast is said to lose 3 cwt. in weight in a journey
from Edinburgh to London.
 The pole-axe should be of the American pattern, which has a head
hollow and very sharp round the periphery. The practise is, after the
blow is struck and the animal felled, to plunge a thin cane into the
wound, which passes down the spine, causing instantaneous death whilst
the animal is lying stunned.
 The following is from the patent specification of this
“Letters patent to John Meiklejon, of Westfield Iron Works, Dalkeith,
in the County of Mid-Lothian, Scotland, for the invention of new or
improved machinery and appliances to be used in hoisting, removing,
dividing, and hanging on hooks, taking off these hooks again, and
loading carcasses and other bodies in abattoirs, carcass and meat
markets, and other places.”
“The machinery and appliances above referred to enable the operations
above named to be performed without the necessity of the butchers
touching the meat. Also enables carcasses to be conveyed from
abattoirs to carcass market on a travelling hoist (hereafter
described), same being provided with rows of fixed jointed hooks or
loops, attached to rails on which the hoist runs, so that the
travelling hoist is enabled to hang the carcasses or bodies on to such
hooks or loops. Also enables a butcher to hang a carcass on any of
these hooks or loops, and pick them off again, and load on a vehicle,
without moving or touching any of the other carcasses hanging on the
other hooks. Also enables all operations to be performed, from
hoisting when killed to loading when sold or removed from market.”
 _Vide_ ‘Report on the New Cattle Market and Abattoirs proposed
to be erected at Carolina Port, Dundee,’ by William Mackison, F.R.I.B.