3rd January 2017


Ram sculpture in Swindon’s Old Town

But why no pig?

When I mention RAM dear listeners I speak not of Random Access Memory a la computer land but of the ram sculpture that resides in Swindon’s Old Town.

I get that, as this article – http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10638539.Staying_in_the_public_eye/ –  by Barry Leighton in the Swindon Advertiser posits, the ram is a ‘fitting reminder of a livestock market that thrived there for more than a century’ but what I want to know is this:

Given that our town’s name ‘Swindon’ is ‘apparently derived from the Old English words “swine” and “dun” meaning “pig hill” or possibly Sweyn’s hill, where Sweyn is a personal name’ – see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swindon – why oh why is there not, SOMEWHERE, a sculpture of a pig?! 

I’m not for a moment suggesting that there shouldn’t be a ram but surely there ought to be pig too? Come ON!

We’ve got a bloody gorilla and a cow and a ram and a lion and whole host of other public art but no flipping pig in a town purportedly named Pig Hill. I mean – this is rash surely? Hells bells there’s even an elephant now! Shouldn’t someone be sheepish about this omission? The baaaaaa faced cheek of it.

Anyway there’s a photograph of it here on this blog: http://myfrencheasel.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/public-art-in-swindon.html  and the ever-so-wonderful Swindon Collection have some facts and figures on the ram and a photograph too:


Title : Old Wiltshire Horn

Artist : Jon Buck

Date of Installation : 1989

Material : Bronze

Project Details : Commissioned by Thamesdown Borough Council through the Percent for Art Policy and funded by Trencherwood Homes (Western) Ltd. The ram is placed on the site of the old livestock market.

Directions: Travelling north on the Marlborough Road, Dewell Mews is on the left before Newport Street.

(Source : The Works, Exploring Public Art in the Borough of Thamesdown leaflet, 1993)

And here he is – a handsome beast albeit minus the wellies that some wag has relatively recently dressed him in.

And here he is sporting his Hello Kitty wellies! A case of mutton dressed as ram?!

ram sculpture wearing wellies - ram sculpture in swindon


Find more posts about Swindon’s pubic art here: https://swindonian.me/category/public-art-sculpture/ and also: https://swindonian.me/category/ten-things-to-celebrate-about-swindon/