Soay Sheep

The history of Soay sheep

Soay sheep are the most primitive British sheep. They were the domesticated sheep of Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age farmers. Eventually they were superseded by bigger, woollier, white breeds. They survived on just the St Kilda Islands. Eventually, during the nineteenth century, some were returned to the mainland as ‘park’ sheep.

The fleece of Soay sheep

Fleeces can be hairy or woolly. The colour varies from fawn to dark brown. The sheep can

  • have a mouflon-type pattern of pale belly and rump, or
  • be all black or
  • occasionally be all white.