Rams in 1943. Owned and bred by Mr R Metcalf, Shepherds Lodge,
Arkendale, Winners of special prize for a group of 3 shearlings, sold
at Kirkby Stephen for £140, £120 &
The breed's origin almost
certainly emerged from the
genetic group of horned sheep from which also came the Blackface, the
Rough Fell, and other localised types. Slowly over time a 'Swaledale'
breed type emerged from within these horned sheep.
Just after the First World
War, a group of farmers
living within a 7 mile radius of Tan Hill Inn, on the lonely, North
Yorkshire moors, near the Cumbria / Durham borders, held their first
meeting to form a breed society. After several meetings, the
Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association was formed. From this small
beginning, the Swaledale breed has become well known for being a
bold, hardy sheep, well fitted to endure the hardships of exposed and
high lying situations.
The ewes proved to be most
excellent lamb rearers,
with ideal mothering abilities in all conditions. The Swaledale can
now be found in both the hills and lowlands of Britain, producing
both pure bred and the well known North of England Mule ( a Blue
Faced Leicester cross ).