Pub Sign Photo Story The Craven Heifer Halliwell Bolton Lancashire

Photo taken by me - The Craven Heifer pub sign, Halliwell Bolton Lancashire
Preston, England
June 15, 2016 11:34am CST
One of the strangest agricultural pub names and signs in my collection. Many will find the story amusing but I actually find it rather sad. There are actually quite a few pubs called The Craven Heifer in the UK, between Yorkshire and London. That is actually to do with a very strange journey made by a very big cow. A Heifer is a young cow that has not yet had calves of her own. In 1807, in Gargrave, near Skipton, Yorkshire, a cow gave birth to a particularly large heavy female calf, said to have already weighed in at a ton in weight even at birth. Her greedy and enterprising owner exploited media attention to get her a great deal of fame and he was invited to display her at pubs and agricultural shows throughout the land, for high fees. He eventually lost her in a bet at a cock fighting contest and her new owner continued to parade her to the masses, fattening her up more all the time. She survived only five years of being constantly fed and literally carted from town to town, eventually being taken on a 73 day journey to London stopping at various towns on route, Many including this one in Halliwell were renamed in honour of the poor girl who was treated like a circus freak-show marvel of the age all her short miserable life. The sign makes use of an anonymous portrait of her that was painted in 1811. Arthur Chappell
6 people like this
6 responses
@jaboUK (55053)
• United Kingdom
15 Jun 16
Interesting story Arthur, but no picture? Ahah - it's there now.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
15 Jun 16
@jaboUK the site crashed the first time I posted the photo - resized it slightly and it worked ok - looked like a temporary return of the glitch I hit a few days ago on here
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (55053)
• United Kingdom
15 Jun 16
@arthurchappell I've got a new camera and the pictures from it won't post on here. Grr.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
15 Jun 16
@jaboUK does it not make the photos into Jpegs?
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134625)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Jun 16
That is a bit sad. It is interesting how artists portrayed farm animals during this period as quite un-lifelike.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
16 Jun 16
@JudyEv this one may actually be a realistic portrait given descriptions of the Heifer's size and how she was constantly fattened up - I just wonder how such small legs coped with such weight and body mass
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (134625)
• Bunbury, Australia
16 Jun 16
@arthurchappell That's true but then you see the massive bulls used for bull-riding and they are so agile.. The legs must be very hard and strong.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (62881)
• Los Angeles, California
15 Jun 16
This may be the strangest of all your pub histories.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
15 Jun 16
@JohnRoberts lots more to come as yet
@Asylum (48224)
• Manchester, England
15 Jun 16
It a very long while since I was in the Craven Heifer.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
15 Jun 16
@Asylum not been inside myself but it looks good
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@thelme55 (15059)
• Germany
15 Jun 16
Very interesting story. I have not heard about this until now. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
@Jessicalynnt (47880)
• Centralia, Missouri
15 Jun 16
that's a small head on a rectangular cow lol!
1 person likes this