Devon Closewool Sheep Breeders

Devon Closewool  Shearling Ewe and Shearling Ram
Welcome to

Devon Closewool Sheep Breeders

If you are looking for Commercial Sheep, Pedigree Sheep, or just a lawn mower then.....the Devon Closewool could be the sheep for you.  Want to find out more?  Then, read on!

The Devon Closewool Sheep Breeders Society was formed in 1923, but this breed of sheep has been in existence for well over 100 years, the original home being Exmoor and its borders, but now the breed is much more widespread. 

Three generations of the Dallyn family, South Devon, with some of their Devon Closewool flock
Devon Closewool sheep before export to New Zealand

The Devon Closewool is a medium sized white faced sheep without horns, and a good fleece of wool, it has a good bone, standing on stout legs set apart giving it a very symmetrical appearance.  The nostrils are black, the ears short being covered with fine white hair.

Devon Closewool Sheep are shown at many agricultural  shows in Southern England

Champion Devon Closewool Ram bred by David Gregory

Hilda Ley with Champion Ram Champion Closewool Ram

The neck is short and thick well set into the shoulders, the ribs are well sprung with good depth.  The back is well set up, is big and wide, and the leg of mutton is well let down

Fleece of yearling Ewe


Devon Closewool sheep are ideally suited to harsh conditions of the moors

Fleece of yearling Ram 6Kg

Pure Devon Closewool sheep

The wool of the Devon Closewool is ideally suited to the home spinner and also modern manufacturing processes, it should contain no black fibre and therefore commands a premium price.

Fleece exhibited by Albert Cook

The wool is close and fine with a wool count of 48 - 53.  The fleece enables the Closewool to withstand wind and rain, it does not part easily so the skin stays dry.  This enables the sheep to thrive in conditions that other sheep would not flourish in.

Champion fleece


Purebred Devon Closewool is primarily a grassland sheep
The Closewool can graze marginal land

The breed is primarily a grassland sheep and is very hardy, having a docile temperament.  This makes the Closewool an ideal sheep for the first time flockmaster, or the commercial farmer looking for an easy care, low input sheep.

Devon Closewools are ideal for crossing

Many Devon Closewools are now crossed with Blue Faced Leicesters

Devon Crossbred Ewes and lambs thrive in variable climates & terrain

For those interested in crossing, either sex is suitable.  The crosses are first rate for prime lambs, making good weights in a short period of time without artificial feeding.

Prime lambs will also finish easily, the carcass being recognised as ideal.  Many are slaughtered at 12 weeks, but they will continue to thrive if kept longer. 

The Devon Closewool Halfbred section was formed in the early 1980's, the most popular cross now being the Blue Faced Leicester to produce the Closewool mule.

The half-breed has the ability to thrive well in various climates and farming conditions, the ewes have an abundance of milk, are hardy, prolific and durable.

Fancy a day out?

Come to the shows, talk to the members, have a drink, we would be glad to see you and answer any questions you might have.  Classes for pure bred Devon Closewool sheep have been held at the following shows; please contact Phil Dallyn to verify.

Classes for Devon Closewool at Devon County, Royal Bath & West, Mid Devon Show and many others in South West England

The Devon County Show
North Devon Show
Exford Show
The Royal Bath & West
Dunster Show
Okehampton Show
Mid-Devon Show
Royal Smithfield Show

Jim & Hazel Ley with Royal Bath & West Champion

Ken Ley judging


Jim & Hilda Ley


Sara Dallyn with first championship pair at Royal Show

Agricultural shows represent ideal showcase for pedigree flock

Sara Dallyn with champion pair

Phil Dallyn with Devon County champion

As well as meeting fellow breeders at the shows, why not come along to the annual dinner and dance, or join us at the skittles evening against other societies?

Now that you have seen the sheep, and you want some, where do you get them?  Firstly we have an annual sale at Blackmoor Gate in September for males and females, but if you can't wait that long contact Phil Dallyn.


The Devon Closewool is a sheep breed in the west country which will thrive in any climate, on any system, it will suit both the experienced or novice sheep breeder.   We look forward to hearing from you.

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Last updated: 02-09-2013.