Pork was an important product for the county of Wiltshire. Over the centuries it became a major entity with several important businesses developing, and it gradually overtook the sheep and woolen industry.

The expression ‘different as chalk and cheese’ explained the incredible difference between the clay north land, ideally suited for milk and cheese production, and the south chalk downs, more suited for sheep and woolen production. The north produced the by-product whey, ideally suited to put fat on a pig. London was growing rapidly, and proved an incredible market for meat. Fast reproductive qualities, ten or more litters, two or three times a year, made the pig the prefect solution, and profitable.

Unfortunately, the county of Wiltshire could not cope with the demand, and so London turned to Ireland.

A Kolbroek pig. Maybe the original Wiltshire pig?
The original drovers road where pigs from Ireland passed through Calne and Colnbrook.

The pigs traveled through two important towns. The one was Calne where the Harris Bacon operation was established (C & T Harris and their Wiltshire bacon cure). The second one is Colnbrook, the town of interest to us for its similarity in sound to Kolbroek.

Colnbrook is, therefore, a town closely associated with pigs.

The Berkshire pig!

Here is a fantastic story of a ship called the Colebrook, floundered of the coast of South Africa and lost its cargo of live pigs. DId they come from Calne or Colnbrook? Was the ship named after these towns? Read all about it here.