Stories from Discover Preston

Preston Butchers' Association banner

Preston Guild is the only surviving Guild celebration in Britain. It dates back to 1179 when Henry II granted Preston the right to have a Guild.

Guilds were groups of tradesmen, organised by profession, and membership was tightly controlled. The Guild system allowed market towns like Preston to govern themselves and regulate trade.

This banner is the Preston Butchers’ Association banner, made for the 1882 Guild trades procession by Thomas Chaloner, a banner painter at 122 Friargate.

The butchers were well-established tradesmen in the town and walked proudly with their coat of arms in the 1762 Guild. The Butchers’ Company coat of arms includes winged bulls and the boars’ heads, which Thomas Chaloner included in the design of the banner.

The reverse of the banner is decorated with a cow and a flock of sheep. It was carried in other Guilds including 1952, and was given to the museum in 1991.

The banner was first carried on Monday 4 September 1882 when Preston’s butchers walked proudly along Fishergate wearing these embroidered badges.

It's a fact!
The butchers traded from the Old Shambles on Lancaster Road until they were relocated to make way for the Harris Library, Museum and Art Gallery.   


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