The Bull and Butcher
The Bull and Butcher
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historypub

History of Bull & Butcher

Built in 1550 the Bull and Butcher is a listed grade 2 building in a conservation area of outstanding natural beauty set deep in a beautiful valley of Chilterns Hills. The name 'The Bull and Butcher' or 'Bullen Butcher' stems from Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. The 'Bull and' or 'Bullen' coming from Ann Bullen as she was known before going to the French court and the 'Butcher', well that speaks for itself!

Despite being built in 1550 it wasn't until 1617, after workmen on the church threatened to lay down tools if no refreshments were provided, that the license was issued to sell liquor. The owner supplied ale and food for the workmen and the pub was born. It subsequently became known as the 'Bullen Butcher'.

Although the pub has had many landlords over the centuries, little is known in the local area about the history of the landlords, but one landlord stands out from the rest, Lacey Beckett, once landlord of the Bull and Butcher, back in 1942, he shot his wife and dog in the upstairs bedroom of the pub then took himself off into the orchard, which is now the car park, and shot himself.

There are 2 theories for why a 'normal man' in a respected position in the community would commit the double murder and suicide. One is that Mrs Beckett was having an affair with the local blacksmith. The second - the one the locals believed was a more likely explanation is that Mr Beckett became depressed.

Inside The Pub

During the war, the pub was used as a shop which the Becketts ran, villagers were struggling to make ends meet, and rations were low, and there was an active black market in the nearby woods with farmers breeding more animals than they let on to the local authorities, then selling the extra livestock on the sly. The pressure of rationing food coupons had sent Beckett over the edge.

A photo of Beckett in a Napoleon style pose on horseback in the Bull and Butcher is the only reminder of Lacey Beckett in Turville, apart from his spirit which has been felt on more than one occasion in the Bull and Butcher.

A 50 foot well features as a table in The Well Bar, discovered during the extension in 1999, the well was restored allowing the amazing skill of craftsmanship for all to see.  During the 2nd World war, there was evidence of it’s use as a water supply for the village.

“ I have been a patron of the Bull & Butcher for years, I took my wife for lunch there ...our second date! The food is still very good, the beer local, Brakespear, excellent but the environment is second to none if you like real olde worlde charm, a huge log fire in each of the bars. Go you'll have a great time  ”
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