This breed has been established since medieval times and it is thought that while the demand was for white fleece, the coloureds were kept by monks to provide wool for their clothing. They are a chunky sheep with a very quiet nature. The fleeces from this sheep provide a wonderful array of texture and colour; a palette which can be extended by blending them.
Ryeland fleeces were highly prized and known as ‘Leominster Ore’ for their value and quality. They are soft and springy with lots of crimp. The staple length can be 8-10cm and the whole fleece approximately 3kg. The wool from a single fleece can vary from silver grey to almost black providing a lovely finish when hand-spun.