Devon Closewool

Breed location map -


The Devon Closewool is a hardy sheep well adapted to the exposed uplands of its native heath. It is polled, of medium size, with a white face, and a dense white fleece of medium staple and length that contributes to its hardiness.
This is an upland sheep, capable of living on grass and long fodder all year round, with the capacity to thrive where many breeds would die, bred in the West Country for West Country conditions, such as the ability to resist driving rain off the Atlantic on Exmoor.
General Information 

Photograph courtesy of the
British Wool Marketing Board

Average bodyweight of mature ewe: 55-60kg
Average bodyweight of mature ram: 90kg
Ideal carcass weight of lambs at slaughter: 18.5kg
Wool Characteristics
Average fleece weight: 2.25-3kg
Staple length average: 8-10cm
Bradford count: 46-54
Main uses: hosiery, tweeds, fabrics
Average Prolificacy
Mature ewes and shearlings: 160%
 Main Uses of the Breed

This is a hardy grassland sheep for exposed upland areas, purebred lambs readily able to fatten off grass. Ewes crossed with rams of Continental type or Down produce quality crossbred lambs for early finishing, without the need for concentrate feeding, and making good weights quickly.
Rams are valued for lending hardiness and 'substance' to other white faced breeds in improvement programmes. Halfbreds from matings with Bluefaced Leicester, Border Leicester, Suffolk and Texel are popular for their ability to thrive in varied climates and farming systems, being durable, prolific, and ewes being excellent mothers with good milking qualities, able to produce excellent market quality lambs.

The fleece produced is of good quality, very suitable to blend for a wide range of commercial uses.

 Shows and Sales

Official ewe sales are held annually at Leyburn, Bentham and Hawes, and rams at Skipton, Hawes, and Bentham, in late September and throughout October.

Bentham - Richard Turner & Son, Auctioneers, Main Street, Bentham,
tel: 015242 61444

Hawes - RJ Lund (General Manager), Hawes Auction Mart, Hawes, North Yorkshire,
tel: 01969 667207 or 015396 20895

Skipton - Craven Cattle Marts Ltd, Auctioneers, Gargrave Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire,
tel: 01756 792375

 Society Details

Devon Closewool Sheep Breeders Society
Secretary: Mr RFY Smith, c/o Holtom & Thomas,
Address: The Elms Office, Bishops Tawton, Barnstaple, North Devon, EX32 0SD
Tel: 01271 326900
Breed Website: http://www.devonclosewool.co.uk/

Breed Description compiled with help from The National Sheep Association


The Sheep Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee.
Company Number 4284999, Charity Number 1094514.
Registered office University of York, Wentworth Way, York YO10 5DD, UK.