High Street, Winchester, Hampshire, England
For hundreds of years, Hampshire was home to thousands of wild hogs and wild boar. This made the county a popular spot for the nobility and for royals. They’d come from miles around to hunt the animals. And in August 1100, King William II, son of William the Conqueror and known as William Rufus because of his red face, was even killed by a stray arrow on one such boar hunt in the New Forest…although some speculated the arrow hadn’t strayed entirely by accident. Over the centuries, some of the hogs once hunted by kings became domesticated. And so it is we have the domestic breed, the Hampshire hog. Known for its pointy ears and black skin with a white stripe round the middle, the breed was imported to the USA in the late 1820s where it remains a popular breed because of the lean meat it produces. So it seemed fitting for Hampshire County Council to commission their very own hog when they celebrated their centenary in 1989. But unlike other Hampshire hogs, this one probably wouldn’t make great sausages. Or bacon, or ham, or spareribs…lean or otherwise.