The Teeswater sheep breed was developed in the Teeswater region of England. In the 1920s the breed was faced with near extinction. Grazed in the dales of the countryside, this large sheep breed was also used as sires in crosses with smaller hill sheep to produce Mashams for market production. This white (with distinctive facial markings), polled breed is hardy, and useful for both meat and wool production. The lustrous, low-lanolin, kemp-free fleece of the Teeswater is appreciated by hand spinners for its staple length and fine, long curly locks. Fiber growth is up to one inch per month with little to no cross fibering. For meat purposes, the Teeswater is lean, with well-fleshed, square hindquarters.
Teeswater sheep were imported to the United States in the 1800’s but lost popularity due to importation of other long wooled breeds. Teeswater semen was imported to America at the end of the twentieth century and has been used to develop purebred Teeswaters. There is now reciprocity with the U.K. breed society for the international exchange of genetics.