Tracing the Tale of Denbighshire Welsh Mountain Sheep

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), December 6, 2005 | Go to article overview

Tracing the Tale of Denbighshire Welsh Mountain Sheep


The history of the Denbighshire Welsh Mountain Sheep Society and its role in popularising the breed across the border in England and in the wider world has been chronicled in a new book by the farmer and writer Meurig Owen.

Brenhines y Bryniau, launched at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, traces the society from its inception in the 1940s to its official formation in 1953 at Pentrefoelas.

'It was created partly out of the enthusiasm for the big mountain sheep sales at Pentrefoelas and partly from the influence of Caernarfonshire, which already had a mountain sheep society,' said Meurig, a former weekly Cefn Gwlad countryside columnist for the Western Mail.

His last book, Gordon Wilyman - Memoirs of a Welsh Halfbred, told the story of the creation of the Welsh Halfbred in the 1950s, one of the most significant developments in Welsh sheep farming of the 20th century.

Brehines y Bryniau, literally Queen of the Hills, pays tribute to the pioneers of the Denbighshire society.

Men like Welsh mountain sheep breeders Orig Evans of Plas Iolyn and WJ Pritchard of Bryniau Brithion began it all by calling a public meeting in Pentrefoelas village hall where they took a top quality ram on stage and declared, 'This is the standard.'

Meurig said, 'WJ Pritchard was very go-ahead and very keen and a very good breeder who was already involved in the sales at Pentrefoelas. …

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