The first thing I noticed when walking into Bath from the car park was this fine pig perched above the entrance to an architect's office in Queen Square. The label gave its name as Disco Pig.
Walking on, I spotted another pig suspended from the offices of the Flying Pig Renovation Company.
Approaching the Pump Room, I saw was Goldie. I could feel a theme developing.
Next to the Abbey, were two more: the appropriately named Abi ....
..... and companion, Emily.
The Tourist Information Office revealed all. These are just a few of the 100 pigs in and around Bath forming the King Bladud's Pigs public art project.
King Bladud? No, he doesn't feature in any of my history books either. Legend has it that he was a Celtic prince who lived about 3000 years ago.He developed a disfiguring disease and was expelled from the palace. He became a swineherd but his poor pigs contracted the disease from him. One day, the pigs rolled in the hot mud around the springs in the Avon Valley and their skin disease was cured. Bladud plunged into the mud and was similarly cured. He returned to the palace and was made king. In gratitude for his cure, he established a settlement near the hot springs, dedicating it to the Celtic goddess Sul. 900 years later, the Romans came along ...
.... and built their city of Aquae Sulis (Waters of Sul) with the famous curative baths. The Romans left and the city became simply Bath. The city as we know it today, was developed in Georgian times and this little pig, called Save the Hamazon, is admiring the oldest house in Bath ....
... where Sally Lunn baked her famous Bath buns.
Much as I would have loved to find all 100 pigs, I ran out of time. I spotted this one from the top of the tour bus, and these two, frolicking in the park, as I walked back to the car park at the end of the day.
All the pigs will be sold at a public auction at the end of October, to raise money for a conservation project in Bath. Which pig would I buy if I had £2000 or so to spare? I think it would have to be this one:
I dedicate this piggy post to fellow pig lover H, son of Juliet on the Muddy Island. In case you haven't heard of it, H, 'Bath chaps' is a local delicacy made from pigs' cheeks. I've never been tempted to try it but I would love to give one of these chaps a home.