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Hennery piggeries

Why are these listed together?

Sometimes henneries and piggeries were combined into a single dual purpose building. Historically, many Dales farms would have kept a few hens and pigs for domestic use, feeding them on kitchen scraps and, in the case of pigs, waste from dairying. As a result, they tended to be housed within, or fairly close to the main farmstead.


Hens were generally the responsibility of the farmer’s wife, rather than the farmer. They foraged freely around the farmyard, but a henhouse would be provided to make egg collection easier and to provide safe roosting places at night. Henhouse walls would be lined with nest boxes and there would generally be a full size door for people to use, as well as a small (access) ‘pop hole’ for the hens.


Many pigsties have a small yard, although in Yorkshire they are commonly found opening straight out into the farmyard allowing the pigs to wander about freely. They are characteristically single storey with low entrances and shed roofs. Pigsties often have rows of individual cells with chutes in the walls through which swill could be emptied into the feeding troughs.

Why do some pigsties have chimneys?

There were quite a few commercial pig farms in the Dales during the twentieth century, and it is quite possible that there are some larger piggery buildings within the National Park. Such buildings might incorporate a chimney stack, marking the position of a boiler for boiling swill.

What is a poultiggery? 

A combination of a henhouse and a piggery is known as a 'poultiggery'. The pigs would frequently be housed on the ground floor, with the hens kept in a loft overhead. Side-by-side forms are also known. It was thought that the hens would keep the pigs warm while the pigs frightened away predators such as foxes.

Sadly, henhouse, piggery and poultigery buildings are vulnerable to neglect and decay as the small size of many of them means that there are few opportunities for re-use. Many of the buildings are, as a result, in poor condition.

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