I rose to the WordPress challenge and wrote about the local sheep-wash but mysteriously my piece has vanished – not the sheep-wash, but my entry. Even more mysteriously I started again but that too failed to materialise. So, here we go once more.
The stream above starts life as a spring in the High Down, above Freshwater Bay. It meanders its way through gardens and underground, passing Sheepwash farm where traditionally local flocks would have been dipped to rid them of maggots and mites. It then continues on its way, through Freshwater Village before joining the River Yar.
The sheep wash was a common sight throughout the Isle of Wight where the springy grass on the chalk Downs is ideal for grazing. During the winter months, as far back as Elizabethan times, sheep were routinely sent across the Solent in droves to take advantage of the milder climate. Several villages disappeared, victims of the fashion for sheep rather than farming, the beasts being more valuable to the landowners than the peasants. The picture above is of the sheep wash at Calbourne village.
Sheep are still plentiful on the Island as the following views show.
Just an excuse for posting pictures of sheep really, Baa!
2 thoughts on “Where has my Sheepwash gone?”
Thank you for that, Jan. It reminded me of my childhood when I helped (?) the uncles manhandle the sheep into the sheepdip (as we called it). Great fun for a child whose week-end visits to the farm were very much enjoyed. I had completely forgotten about the sheep-dip although I well recall helping bring in the flax crop. How old we must be!
Flax – it sounds so Irish, table linen and all that goes with it. I don’t think I had seen the raw material until somebody local started growing it, lovely misty blue flowers.