Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bath chaps

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.


  1. Ahhh, thanks M. I will show H (who's off school today with a bad cold) - they will really cheer him up! Is this project related to the Superlambananas in Liverpool which have featured on Martin Edwards's blog recently?

  2. The King Bladud story confirms my belief that pigs are among the world's most superior animals, M. What a fantastic project and great photos. Good to see porkers getting the recognition they deserve.

  3. J, I don't think there is a connection with Liverpool. The Bath project is to convert an old railway line and some tunnels into a walk and cycle way. I hope H is feeling better.

    D, I think I saw something on the news the other day about a dinosaur pig being our closest relation!

  4. Thank you for popping by my blog! I am always delighted to find kindred spirits. I am actually a Spring girl, born in the middle of June. lol
    I am enjoying reading your blog very much. I had the opportunity to visit England a few years ago, in Ipswich, for three weeks. I went with my best friend and we stayed with her parents. In all that time, we never did get to do all that we wanted to. I feel a return trip is definitely in order. :)
    Until then, I will count on your lovely photos and descriptions to get me through.

  5. Isn't blogging a wonderful way to learn about people and places we might never see? I'm getting steeped in American Civil War history, thanks to Carolyn's blog about Caroline Street in Fredericksburg. I just wouldn't have thought of reading about it otherwise.

  6. Cheers, I want to go to Bath now! Thanks. Hugo

  7. Hi Hugo, you'll have to get there before the end of October if you want to see the pigs but I've got a little souvenir for you if you can't make it.

  8. I read a comment you made on another blog about your love of a season may have been chosen for your when you were born. I had never heard that before. I, too, was born in October and Fall is my favorite season.
    I visited your blog. I really enjoyed viewing all your pictures.

  9. Welcome, Ada Mae, and thank you for your kind words about my pictures. I'm pleased to meet another lover of autumn, whether we share birthdays or not.

  10. Hi Monix
    A colleague of mine at Bath Spa Uni is greatly involved with the Two Tunnels (cycle path) project and the famous pigs. Spotted a couple of crazy porkers myself yesterday on the southern outskirts of the town. For interested parties, lots more on the piggies here http://www.kingbladudspigs.org/

  11. Thanks for the link, Ali. I had a great time pig-spotting but only had time for about 20.

  12. Good morning! In the moment I found your blog. I'm a German pig in pink, and I know all this pigs on your blog from the photographs of my mum, two weeks ago she made a trip to bath.
    I will come back often to your blog!

    Karla Kotelett from Germany (Kotelett menas cutlet)

  13. Hello Karla and welcome! I am very pleased to meet a fellow pig-lover, especially one with a sense of humour. I love the idea of cutlet as a name.


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