Border Leicester sheep are one of three distinct
breeds of Leicester sheep.
Border Leicester sheep were developed in 1767 by George and
Matthew Culley of Fenton, Northumberland, England. They were friends of Robert
Bakewell and had access to his improved Leicesters. Some believe that the
Culley brothers developed the Border Leicester by crossing Bakewell's improved
Leicester rams with Teeswater ewes. Others argue that Cheviot blood was
In any case, the breed was firmly established in England by
1850 and Border Leicesters have now surpassed the old English Leicester in
popularity in the British Isles and in other countries.
Border Leicesters are a distinctively large white sheep,
long in body, well sprung ribs with well-developed chest and gigot, proud and
graceful with white densely planted wool, 18-20 cms in length. Average mature
ewe weighs 80-100 kg, rams 125-150kg.
They are moderately prolific, good milkers, and mothers.
They have been used throughout the world to sire crossbred females. They yield
a long-stapled, lustrous, coarse wool that is much in demand by hand spinners.