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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