Slaughterman’s pit in old Burn Lane at Newton Aycliffe

by Brian Gargate

A Newton Aycliffe resident, who had been employed to build the new town, said that contractors discovered a pit full of decayed animal bones and stinking slaughterhouse waste by the side of old Burn Lane. The pit was a short distance from where the lane joined the A167 [Great North Road].


The Traveller’s Rest and the High Traveller’s Rest were situated on the west side of the Great North Road and they were close to the junction. The ‘Bay Horse’ was at the Traveller’s Rest and Whelan [1894] tells us that Arthur Fairs was its victualler. Whelan does not say that Fairs was a victualler and a butcher, but that was not an uncommon situation. Perhaps an earlier victualler had slaughtered animals and dumped his waste in the pit.