Posted on 03/10/2011
Pigs at Royal Holloway!
It's not the best composed or particularly in focus, but this is one of my favourite photographs in Royal Holloway's archive collections. Although the pigs survive in the 'Piggery Gate' name and appear in ledgers and various reminiscences about the College in days gone by, this was the only photographic evidence of them I could find! I love how the pig (- curious or aggressive?-) has intruded onto the photo and possibly caused the photographer to move a little off-balance. Contrasting with the very formal and stylised photos of staff and students, it also sheds a little light onto the 'back stairs' side of the college which is not often seen.
The photographer was Elizabeth Marianne Blackwell, Head of Botany at Royal Holloway College 1922- 1949. The rest of her personal papers (catalogue ref. PP25) hold information about her publications, the Botany Department and life at at Royal Holloway, correspondence, and photographs of the campus, staff and students. The main building shown in the photograph is the new home of the Physics and Botany laboratories, taken shortly after completion in 1926, and to the left are the piggeries. The labs were known as the Horton Building from 1987 and in 2011 are home to the Careers Service and Economics Department.
The pigs were fed leftovers from catering and some were sold for bacon - the last leaving after the Second World War.
If you would like more information about this image, or to use it in your own work, or about any of our other collections, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vicky Holmes, College Archivist.