Pig & Whistle

In his diaries, Rev Edward Stevens frequently mentions walking round the village “by Pig & Whistle”. Sadly no trace of this pub remains today, but we know that it was located on the northern side of the B4035, north-west of the Shutford crossroads. The actual site is shown on the map fragment below – it is the group of buildings in the top left corner. The image was taken from an Ordnance Survey 25-inch map of 1882.

But why “Pig and Whistle”? Despite modern pub signs to the contrary, it has nothing to do with a farmyard animal or a wind instrument.

Pig in old English referred to “a pot, pitcher, jar or other vessel, usually made of earthenware”. Whistle derives from wissel, “join in paying for drinks”. In short, Pig & Whistle may be read as pints and rounds. Read more in this academic article: Pigs and Whistles.