The Pigsty

Robin Hood's Bay - Sleeps 2

About this Landmark

Once really a sty, Squire Barry of Fyling Hall is said to have been inspired by the classical architecture he had seen in the Mediterranean during his travels in the 1880s when building this home for his pigs. 

  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • BathBath

Beds 1 Double

  • Sleeps 2
  • 4 nights from £254
  • equivalent to £31.75 per person, per night

An exercise in primitive Classicism by a well-travelled squire

Two pigs were the excuse for this exercise in primitive classicism, supposedly inspired by buildings seen by Squire Barry of Fyling Hall on his travels around the Mediterranean in the 1880s. By his use of timber columns, and his choice of inhabitants, he was perhaps trying to make a point about the roots of Classical architecture. The Pigsty makes for compact living accommodation on one floor with a fine view.

Views to the sea, and moors at your back

By the minimum of addition, and the insertion of glass here and there, we hope that we have made it acceptable (if not entirely draughtfree) to a higher breed of inhabitant; and although the living quarters will never be palatial, the view over hills and towards the sea at Robin Hood’s Bay from under the pediment is undoubtedly fit for an Empress, with wonderful Whitby and its Abbey only just up the coast. A few miles inland the green fields give way to the ling and heather of the North Yorkshire Moors.

Floor Plan

‘This is only our 7th Landmark but the stays in them represent the 7 best times I’ve had in my life.’

‘Walking in North Yorkshire is endless in possibilities.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Lying amongst fields to the south of Whitby, The Pigsty enjoys far-reaching views over the hills towards the sandy beaches and the bustling village of Robin Hood’s Bay. The Cleveland Way passes nearby.

The town of Whitby is very close, with plenty of shops, cafes and galleries to explore. Whitby Abbey overlooks this popular seaside town, and was inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. 

At Robin Hood's Bay you can find plenty of sandy beaches ideal for walks and enjoying the beautiful views. Look out for events such as the vintage fair, Victorian weekend and organised walks.  

Pickering, known as "the gateway to the moors", is a great town for shops and places to eat and drink.

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is perfect for exploring this stunning area of the country. Make your way to the seaside in style in these beautifully preserved engines. It is like taking a step back in time.

Close by is the Captain Cooke Memorial Museum (7.5 miles) and Whitby Museum (7.7 miles). You can gain free entry to both with a National Art Pass, which enables its 122,000 holders to enjoy free and discounted entry to over 225 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK. The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it on the ArtFund's website http://www.artfund.org/

For more information and ideas of things to do during your stay at The Pigsty, take a look at out Pinterest Mapgnificent steam engines, beautiful rural stations and smartly un

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

The Pigsty
Robin Hood's Bay - Sleeps 2
Clear directions

‘This is only our 7th Landmark but the stays in them represent the 7 best times I’ve had in my life.’

‘Walking in North Yorkshire is endless in possibilities.’

From the logbook

Your questions answered

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    No.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Via a short driveway off the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Whitby – 6 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    Yes – there is a parking area for one car. There is a flight of steep steps down from the parking area to the Landmark.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage radiators and a woodburning stove.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Unfortunately, there is currently no arrangement for the purchase and delivery of logs, however details of local sources will be provided with your order confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is an electric cooker.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    There is an enclosed, sloping garden.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    No.

    Booking and Payment

  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact [email protected]
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.

Designed and built by the owner of Fyling Hall

The Pigsty was designed and built by the owner of Fyling Hall, John Warren Barry. The date of its construction is not quite certain. Mr Matthew Hart, one of the men who carried out the work, is recorded as having said that it was started in 1889 and completed two years later, in 1891. Mr Hart was a 15-year-old apprentice when work began, and when it was finished he and a workmate celebrated by dancing on the roof – until Mr Hart fell off and broke his nose.

One would suppose that such an occasion would be clearly remembered by Mr Hart; confusingly, however, the Ordnance Survey 6-inch map of 1895 (re-surveyed in 1893) does not show the Pigsty at all, although it does appear on the 1914 edition (re-surveyed in 1910). Moreover, during the 1990 restoration the date ‘October 1906’ was found carved on an apparently original roof timber. So the Pigsty may date either from the late 19th or the early 20th century – we cannot be sure which.

One reason why it took two years to build, according to Mr Hart, was because Squire Barry changed his mind frequently about the details. He tried out several alternative columns before settling on the final version, for instance. Perhaps this is why the building has a somewhat hybrid quality – neither fully Ionic nor Doric nor Tuscan, but containing elements of all these three styles of Classical antiquity.

Mr Hart attributed the building of the Pigsty to Squire Barry’s dislike of the Victorian practice of building pigsties in the backyards of cottages, often right next to the back door. A family that kept a pig could enjoy not only an improved diet, but a little extra income from the sale of piglets as well. As there were two farm cottages on the Fyling Hall estate, the Squire provided accommodation for two pigs – Large Whites, a local breed.

We can only guess at his reasons for building the Pigsty in the style of a Grecian temple. We know that he was passionately interested in the island of Corsica, and wrote a book about it; perhaps he was inspired by some of the Etruscan and Greek buildings that have survived there since the days of antiquity. At another of his farms he built a cowshed in dressed stone with carved church windows and louvres, and an arched doorway with an iron-studded door like that of the church; the stalls were all of carved oak and looked almost like pews. One may conclude that he simply enjoyed these quirky buildings, and took pleasure in the confounding of sightseers who discovered that his temple was not for picnics but for pigs.

The design was carefully thought out. The building was divided into two by a central partition, each half with its own feeding trough, which was filled from the outside through a hinged shutter. For extra ventilation there were shuttered windows at the back as well; the shutters and the front gable were pierced so that air could circulate freely. In the portico floor were chutes down which water could be poured into two drinking troughs in the field below. It is not clear how the pigs reached their homes from the field. It is said that they went up a wooden ramp, now long vanished, and so on to the platform at the side of the building. Others have claimed that the pigs firmly refused to go up into the sty at all, and stayed stubbornly in the field.

Almost no other Landmark has attracted as much attention as the Pigsty – or so many (admittedly irresistible) feeble jokes; it has been extensively photographed, filmed and written about in the media. It seems that pigs, and anything to do with pigs, are deeply embedded in our national consciousness as a source of endless amusement and fascination.

Used for hens and later as a kennel for dogs

After Squire Barry’s death in 1920, the Pigsty was used for hens and later as a kennel for dogs. It deteriorated steadily, however, and by the 1980s its condition gave cause for serious concern. At this point it came to the attention of Lucinda Lambton, who was researching her book and television programme Beastly Buildings. She told the owner about the Landmark Trust and told Landmark about the Pigsty; as a result it came into the hands of the Trust in 1988.

Even the most devoted Landmarkers would find it hard to live and sleep only in the space allotted to the pigs. The necessary extension was designed by the architect Martin Stancliffe in such a way that the main range of the building was simply extended into the hillside by a few feet, which happily gives it the proportions of a genuine temple. The adjoining privy was incorporated to provide a kitchen.

By now Squire Barry’s building was in a poor state. The roof had been stripped of its copper covering long before, and much of the timber construction, including four of the columns, was severely rotted: all of it was therefore dismantled and taken away for conservation and repair. Meanwhile the Pigsty’s foundations were found to be moving gently but inexorably down the hillside, and new retaining walls and drains had to be constructed to deal with the problem. The contractor, A. E. Houghton, of York, built new steps leading downward from the parking space on the road, and made good the stonework of the privy and the base of the Pigsty. It took some time to find a stone to match the original, but eventually one was found among the landslips on the moor. More stone was needed to repair the drystone walls, however; this time the need was met by seeking out unused piles of stones dumped by local farmers from redundant field walls. York stone flags were laid around the building and in the portico floor.

Once the walls of the new bedroom and bathroom had been built, the restored timbers could be reinstated, although the central partition of the Pigsty was removed (the timber division in the roof space was retained, however). One of the former window openings was transformed into a door and the other into a bookcase. The old windows and shutters were transferred to the new back wall, and the timber surrounds and columns from the original back wall were also moved, so that from the rear the Pigsty’s appearance is exactly the same as before.

The tiles from the roof of the old privy had been carefully set aside, and were now replaced. The decorative ridge tiles were also put back; some were broken, but these were kept rather than patching in new ones. The carved barge boards were all either entirely rotten or missing, and had to be renewed. A new copper roof was laid, with new gutters and downpipes, copies of the originals. The side and back walls were rendered with lime plaster darkened by using black slag instead of sand, together with some black ochre. The front wall was reassembled, its opening now glazed. Finally, the outside paintwork was renewed in the original colours, based on careful analysis of surviving paint fragments: a sample of the faded original can be seen inside the portico. The Pigsty received its first visitors in June 1991. Space is perforce extremely limited, but admirers of pigs claim that there is no tidier animal, when given the right quarters.

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.