Penpont Heritage Centre

Privy & Pigsty

The Privy is the outside toilet. Look inside and you will see a wooden board with a large hole: this is the seat and beneath would have been a bucket which would have been emptied regularly and buried in the garden. For privacy the privy faces away from the cottage.

The privy is built of bricks and has a slate roof. Look closely at the bricks, they are longer than usual and slightly thinner. These are hand made bricks possibly of local clay and may even have been fired on site. William Thomson went on to open a brick works at one of his quarries.

The pigsty is made of sandstone blocks, many worked and dressed. They were probably leftover stone from other jobs. The outrun is made of vertical slabs of sandstone. This is a most unusual practice for Southern Scotland and is usually only found in Caithness and Orkney. The top of the slabs are held in line using metal dogs, possibly made by the blacksmith who used to work over the road.
Fattening a pig provided meat, bacon and black pudding for the family. The killing of a pig was often an occasion for a celebration. There are hooks in the ceiling of the kitchen areas where joints would have hung to cure.

Today we have a lawn but in the past the garden would have been used for growing vegetables. Root vegetables and onions would have been stored over winter probably in the wash house.

They would also have kept a few hens for eggs.

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Handmade bricks
Metal Dogs



The Centre will open for the 2017 season at East weekend, Saturday 15 April and will be open Saturdays and Sundays thereafter until the end of September. If you wish to come to the centre at other times, we are very happy to arrange a suitable time. Click here to contact us.



 If you are looking for any heritage information please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking here.

EVENT! We are organising a nature and history walk around Keir on Sunday 23 July 2017, starting from the Village Hall at 1.20pm. This walk is being led by Hugh Buck, who is the secretary of the Group, ably supported by Sophia Harkness. The walk will go down to Courthill, along to Scaurbank and back to Keir along the river. If you want you can join the walk in Keir. There should be some interesting information. We will return to the Hall for afternoon tea and a look at some photos, old and new of Keir. Donations to assist in the running of the Local Heritage Centre will be gratefully received. Come along. If you want to book a place, please contact Sophia on 01848 330411, Hugh on 01848 330933 or Maureen on 01848 331529. You can contact us by e-mail by clicking here.


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We welcome individuals, groups and school parties. Please contact us to arrange your booking.

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