are distinguished by their gigantic size, they are the largest of
the kind I have ever seen, and as perfect a make as possible in
pigs.. their heads are large, with very long ears hanging down an
each side of the face, so they can scarcely see their way"
One of this
country's oldest pig breeds, the Large Black had its origins in
the Old English Hog of the 16th and 17th centuries. By the late
1800's the main strongholds of the breed were in East Anglia and
Devon & Cornwall, and two distinct types of pigs were produced.
The founding of the Large Black Pig Society in 1889 led to an increase
in the exchange of stock between breeders in the two localities.
In the early
part of this century Large Blaacks became more widely distributed,
and were frequently crossed with Large White and Middle White to
produce both porkers and baconers.
The Large Black
success in both the Show and Sale ring. At Smithfield Show in 1919
the Supreme Championship was awarded to a Large Black sow subsequently
sold for 700 guineas. In the same year Large Blacks outnumbered
all other breeds at the Royal Show, with 121 being exhibited.
and ability to withstand sun-burn made the Large Black suitable
for a wide variety of climatic conditions. By 1935 they had been
exported to well over 30 countries world wide In 1949 the Large
Black Pig Society merged with the National Pig Breeders Association,
later named the British Pig Association. The BPA. provide facilities
for Birth and Herd-book notifications, and are concerned with all
aspects of pedigree breeding and showing.
A change in
demand by the meat trade, and a developing prejudice against "coloured"
pigs, led to a severe decline in numbers throughout the 1960's.
The creation of the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in 1973 led to the
Large Blacks being placed on the Trust's list of critical breeds.
The Rare Breeds
Survival Trust continues to monitor the individual blood lines within
the breed on an annual basis. The trust has also taken semen from
various boars for long term storage. From time to time they also
provide a boar at A.I.
Today the Large
Black is to be found throughout the British Isles. They are mainly
kept in small herds, a few of which date back to well before World
War 2. The Large Black Pig Breeders Club was founded to bring together
breeders to further promote this excellent breed. Anyone can be