|History of the Cotswold...
Ancestors of the Cotswold breed were brought to England by conquering Romans more than 2,000 years ago. Cotswolds were the cornerstone of England's wool economy throughout the Middle Ages. The first importation of Cotswolds to the United States was made in 1832. The first sheep men to register purebred stock in America were the Cotswold breeders who published their first flock book in 1878. By 1914, over 74,000 Cotswolds had been recorded. They remained one of the most popular breeds until they were eclipsed by growth of the Merino wool trade and a shift in demand to smaller, earlier maturing lambs. This resulted in the Cotswold becoming rare in America and England. In 1997 fewer than 1,000 Cotswolds were registered in the U.S.A.
One of the first literary mention of Cotswold sheep appeared more than 400 years ago. They were already known as ‘Cotswold Lions’, a popular name that persists today. One only need look at a Cotswold sheep in full fleece to see how the wool about the neck and shoulders resembles a lion’s mane.
In the Middle ages, the wool trade was the basis of the economy in the Cotswold Hills of middle Britain. To this day the Speaker of the British House of Lords sits on a woolsack acknowledging where the wealth of Medieval England came from.
For more information about the history of the breed, click here.