The Southdown sheep is smaller than some of the other downland breeds found in the UK, the Southdown has fine textured white wool over its face, small ears and short legs. It is well fleshed with a wide back.The breed was established in the South Downs of Southern England before the 17thcentury but developed into the sheep we recognise today in the 18th century. It is claimed to be the oldest terminal sire breed in the UK with a part in the development of other terminal sire breeds in the UK and overseas. The Southdown Sheep Society was established in 1893.
South East England continues to be the heartland for this breed, although it is also found in other parts of the UK, as well as France, Australia, New Zealand and America.The Southdown is used to product quality lambs for the food chain, be they crossbred or pure. It has seen a revival in the early 21st century due to the focus of breeders on maximising its commercial attributes.