The dual-purpose Romney has been valued for both meat and wool throughout its history. Easy-to-spin Romney fleece delights hand spinners with its long and lustrous separate locks, low grease content and range of natural colors. This versatile wool can be used for a huge variety of projects, from sweaters to rugs.
The Romney breed emerged over 250 years ago in a green, soggy, wind-swept region of Kent county in southeastern England, its ancestor a hardy old breed aptly called the Romney Marsh sheep. An efficient provider of wool and meat, the Romney sailed to New Zealand, where it has since become the most numerous sheep breed. William Riddell of Monmouth, Oregon, brought the first of these sheep into the United States in 1904. Both English and New Zealand lines have contributed to the improvement of present-day Romneys in North America.