Rare Breed Pigs
Tom has kept sows all at Hunting Hall all his working life.
He’s always loved pigs; their intelligence and unique, individual characters.
The Hunting Hall Herd

In 2000 Tom began to build up a herd of Rare breed pigs. Here was a chance to indulge his passion for pigs and protect part of our disappearing farming heritage. Back in the 1950’s a Saddleback sow had lived in the farm worker’s pig sties; in the 1980’s Tom had bought Karen two Saddleback sows as part of a birthday present – these became the start of our small herd of rare breed pigs.

These lovely old traditional farmyard breeds are very slow to mature – but the wait is worth it. The pork is rich, juicy and flavoursome with scrumptious old-fashioned crackling.

The old breeds of pigs had gone out of fashion as supermarkets began to look for pork that could be produced cheaply in the shortest amount of time, with a uniform, mild taste and an extremely lean joint. Many of these old traditional breeds became exceedingly rare and, even today, the pig breeds we keep at Hunting Hall are rarer than Giant Pandas!

The pigs we breed:

British Saddleback
You’ll see lots of Saddlebacks at Hunting Hall as they are Tom’s favourite pigs. This is a black pig with a white ‘saddle’ going over its shoulders and down to both front feet. They have big floppy ears and are quite a robust, friendly, cheerful pig.

Middle White
These are very distinctive pink pigs with squashed noses (they look a little as if they’ve walked into a wall). The breed was an early 1900 good pork pig. It is reasonably hardy and has a gentle, calm nature. The pork is exceptionally full of flavour and much sought after by chefs such as Heston Blumenthal.

Fields of grass and pens of straw
Tom keeps his sows in a big grass field, the Pigs Croft, attached to an indoor strawy courting. In the sunshine of the day the large ladies will happily root about in the croft, wallowing in muddy holes and turning up grass and stones. These huge pigs will then return indoors to the courting to sleep, semi-buried in billowing piles of straw.

The pigs are bred in outdoor arks throughout the year; there are nearly always piglets at Hunting Hall! As the pigs grow they are kept in big straw-bedded pens. It’s tremendously important to us that these are happy pigs!

Hunting Hall Rare Breed Pork
Hunting Hall pork is sold by several Northumbrian butchers and you can buy it on-line or visit their shops. You may enjoy:

Scrumptious sausages made by T.R. Johnson of Wooler - These are the sausages we provide in the cottage welcome pack and they are particularly delicious. There is always a friendly welcome for everyone at the shop on Wooler High Street.

George Payne’s Black Ham - George has created a unique cured ham with Hunting Hall pork which has a true Northumbrian flavour. This special black ham contains Tar Bar’l Stout from Allendale Brewery.


For more information about the butchers we supply, please see below:


T.R Johnson, Family Butchers
61, High Street,
Wooler, Northumberland.
01668 281 431


George Payne Butchers
27, Princes Road
Brunton Park, Gosforth,
Newcastle upon Tyne.
0191 2362992