Alderbrook Farm is a 20 acre smallholding in a beautiful valley near Bath on the southern edge of the Cotswolds. We have a small flock of registered Cotswold sheep, which are carefully bred for the quality of both their wool and their meat.
The Cotswold sheep is a large longwool and lustre breed, known locally as the Cotswold Lion. It is said that they have grazed the Cotswold hills since the Roman Period. In fact, the origin of the very word ‘Cotswold’ is ‘Sheep enclosure on rolling hillside’.
From the middle ages until the late 19th century this breed was the foundation of the English wool trade with Europe. The wool, known as the Golden Fleece not only played a major role in the development of many Cotswold towns and villages but also in the finances of the nation. However, changes in the wool trade towards the end of the 19th century, led to a sharp decline in the breed. The Cotswold sheep is now on the endangered list held by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
These days, premium Cotswold wool is highly sought after by craftsmen and women who appreciate the fine quality of this lustrous, long stapled fleece. Fortunately, the numbers of this gentle and ancient breed are rising again.
Shearling fleece from Alderbrook Pascha took Reserve Champion at the prestigious Bath and West Show, summer 2013.