Shepherd’s Boy & Blue Pig

The last old track identified on the pre-turnpike map is the one which led from the middle of the village, via Fall Lane, Binn Road and up the Wessenden Valley. A survey of the Manor of Marsden dated 1628 noted that this route was used to import burnt limestone from Knottingley and Pontefract to improve the arable land.


There was an old inn called The Shepherd’s Boy  which stood below the existing shooting lodge near Wessenden Reservoir. 

The 1740 will of Thomas Haigh, of The Shepherd’s Boy, lists “drink in the cellar and lead and cistern brewing vessels. It is not known when it ceased to be a beer house but there was certainly a potential trade from the navvies who worked on building the reservoirs into the 19th century.

People still remember a small inn up Wessenden called the Blue Pig, though nothing has been found to indicate when it was first licensed or when it stopped serving beer. It is known that Edith Doyle worked the Blue Pig as a barmaid in the 1920s prior to her and her husband taking over the Moorcock. After the alehouse was delicensed it reverted to being a farmhouse and its address was given as Lower Acre Head Road. It was totally destroyed by fire on Easter Sunday 1943 and John Arthur Kaye lost his life fighting the fire. His wife and children survived.