Whitehall Farm Gotland Sheep
We specialise in Gotland Sheep and their products
Our Gotland Fleece comes in delightful shades of dark to light silver grey and is fine, soft and lustrous, producing beautiful finished garments. For spinners and felters, fleeces in shades of light, medium and dark grey are normally available. Also available, hand knitted garments, woven rugs, throws and custom made furskin waistcoats.
The Whitehall Farm flock of Gotland Sheep has a first class pedigree, having been very selectively built up over the past 13 years and now comprises around 50 ewes and 6 quality rams with different blood lines.
Starting in 1993 ten ewes and two rams were acquired from Lars & Anna Rooth who had brought their Gotland flock with them from Sweden when they emigrated to England in 1984. Since then two rams and 8 ewes have been imported from top-notch flocks in Holland to further improve the quality and bloodline diversity of the flock.
A unique flock management system has been developed to make the most of these ‘Three Crop Sheep’.
The ewes are shorn in late December and then they are housed before lambing in early March. This means the shorn fleece is of top quality and has not suffered a break in the staple when the ewes are heavily pregnant and also is free from hay and straw contamination plus Winter mud.. When born in March the lambs grow quickly on the spring grass and can be shorn in late July to produce a beautifully soft and lustrous lambs fleece for making in to quality knitwear. Shearing at this time helps the lambs continue to grow so that those not passing the rigours selection for breeding, can be up to weight for the butcher from August onwards. The skins from these lambs are made into garment quality suede lambskins and can be made into waistcoats, hats, slippers for example.
For more information on all the fine products available from Whitehall Gotlands, Please feel free to contact David or Lyn Barlow through the contact form on the side
Gotland Sheep History
Gotland sheep were originally developed by the Vikings more than a thousand years ago on the Island of Gotland in the Baltic sea. They are a member of a primitive group of sheep called Northern Short Tailed Sheep which includes the Shetland, Icelandic and others. The Vikings kept them for their meat and pelts, which they used to keep warm in the cold Nordic winters.
Today Modern Gotland sheep are prized for their lustrous curly fleece, which grows naturally in shades from a pale silver to a dark steel grey.