There Are Over 900 Breeds of Sheep, But None Quite as Beautiful as the Wensleydale



No woolman who has ever seen the sheep or wool will ever forget it
— Kenneth Ponting, Sheep of the World

The Wensleydale breed originated in North Yorkshire, early in the 19th century.

The breed stems from a cross of the long extinct long wool breed from the River Tees region, and a single, outstanding, ram from Leicester, called 'Bluecap.'

During its earliest years, the breed was developed through hardy rams and hill ewes, with the intention being to produce a high quality, valuable fleece

The breed is set apart from all others by their distinctive fringe, pictured below

 

 

In the summer of 2014 we decided to introduce some beautiful Bluefaced Leicesters to the farm with the intention of using this wonderful fleece with the Wensleydale fleece.

The Bluefaced Leicester is descended from the Border Leicester with some Wensleydale blood added to give it a distinctive quality.  For traditional sheep farmers, this breed is one of the most important new breeds to be evolved in the late nineteenth and twentieth century.  The fleece is finer than the Wensleydale with a lower micron count. Although the fleece is not easy to blend with the Wensleydale fleece, our expert scourers and spinners are able to do this and produce, without doubt, the most beautiful 100% pure wool.