Charlecote's Jacob sheep
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While the fallow deer may steal the show in the parkland, our Jacob sheep are as historically important and with their characteristic splodgy fleeces, they're a distinctive sight in our parkland. The ancestors of our flock were brought here by George Lucy in 1756. It was the very first Jacob flock to be introduced into England and Charlecote still has one of the largest flocks in the country.
Award-winning rare breed
We work with the Jacob Sheep Society and our 75 breeding ewes have been joined by three award-winning pedigree rams from the Society – Major Mustard, Hector and Henry. We've managed to reinstate the pedigree status of the flock with each of our breeding ewes now having her own certificate.
Our lambs are born in mid-April and you can see them in the parkland with the ewes if you take a stroll along our mown paths. Jacobs make very good mums and we usually have a few sets of triplets each year, indicating a healthy, happy flock.
Later in the year, we bring in our sheep shearers in to demonstrate this rural skill to our visitors in early summer. We use the fleeces for our workshops on a variety of rural crafts, such as felting, and for visiting school groups to create wonderful artworks.
Join one of our daily park walks and you’ll find out more about how we manage our flock and how important the sheep are to the wider ecosystem in the parkland. Check with Visitor Reception on your way in to see what's happening today.
Freedom Foods accredited
As well as producing pedigree breeding stock from our sheep, our flock is RSPCA Freedom Foods accredited.
Unlike commercially-farmed sheep, Jacob lambs take much longer to reach maturity resulting in a much better flavour. You'll find our lamb and hogget for sale in a variety of cuts in the Gatehouse shop and used in the Orangery restaurant. Hogget is a little older than lamb and is a delicious flavoursome lean meat, ideal for slow cooking. There’s a wide selection – chops, legs, cannon and packs of diced lamb for casseroles. Ask in the Servants' Hall shop if the Gatehouse is closed.