“Next season Lady Mary, played by Michelle Dockery takes an interest in Pig Farming. Oxford sandy and black pigs from Butts Farm are used in a number of scenes. The scenes were shot in Lacock near Chippenham.”
Squelch, snort, splat. These sounds filled the air the day I visited Butts Farm near Cirencester, doing research for the travel guide at the back of my book Cotswolds Memoir. I had a great time practically rolling around in the mud with all the farm animals. My husband and I love pigs and there were a bunch of them there snuffling and squelching and sticking their snouts through gaps in the barn. I am shameless and love anything made of pig to eat. Hog roasts at fetes are one of my favourites and I am so bad that I watched and thoroughly enjoyed the movie Babe and then went straight off to enjoy a meal of pork chops and stuffing.
The Cotswolds is known for Gloucester Old Spot pigs which are wonderfully hardy and very fashionable with their pale skins covered in black polka dots. The Gloucester old spot boars reach up to 600lbs and large litters can be raised on pasture. These pigs were often kept in orchards to eat up the windfall and control pests from fallen fruit. The local myth attributes the black spots on backs to bruises from falling fruit but cross-breeding is the cause of their appearance.
Gloucester Old Spots even have their own society which was begun in 1913 but have been around much longer than this. The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal keep Gloucester Old Spots on their Gloucestershire estates.
Enjoy our fun pictures from Butts Farm. It makes a great outing with our without the kids.