The Polwarth Breed
The Polwarth breed was developed back in 1880 by Richard Dennis of Tarndwarncoort. As the crow flies, Fairview located at Yeo and Tarndwarncoort are only 10km apart.
Polwarths were first bred by crossing a Saxon Merino with a Lincoln and then back to the Saxon Merino. After 25 years, a consistent breed was established, leading to formation of the Polwarth Sheep Breeders Association of Australia in 1919. The sheep were officially named Polwarths after the County of Polwarth in which Tarndwarncoort is located.
Polwarths were bred in response to the climate where land holders found the Merino less suited to the higher rainfall of the local area. The Saxon Merino/Lincoln cross produced a robust dual purpose sheep with a good carcass and quality high yielding, long, soft white fleece of 20-23 microns.
Polwarth wool is well regarded in wool craft circles. The long staple and high comfort factor make it a wool of choice for spinning and felting. Internationally, Polwarth wool is sought after by Japanese and Italian companies. For example, Vitalis Barberis Canonico include a percentage of Polwarth wool in their fine wool suits to decrease wrinkling in their garments.
Descendants of Richard Dennis, Wendy and David Dennis, together with their sons Tom and Alistair Dennis, continue the Polwarth tradition at Tarndwarncoort, maintaining a Polwarth flock and selling Polwarth wool. Go to www.tarndie.com
To the best of our knowledge, the Fairview property has been running Polwarth sheep for at least the last 80 years.