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Welsh Black Cattle

The Welsh Black breed of cattle is one of the oldest recorded and have inhabited the hills of Wales since pre-Roman and pre-Christian times and it has been suggested that the breed is based on cattle from the Iberian Peninsula.


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Cattle were the Ancient Britons' most prized possessions when they retreated westwards from the invading Saxons. Certainly black cattle have been bred in Wales for well over 1,000 years and, as in Scotland and many other parts of Britain, were often used as currency. This gave rise to the description of the Welsh Black as "the black gold from the Welsh hills". Drovers would herd the cattle for weeks to sell them at English markets, and return to Wales with large amounts of money which unfortunately made them the target of bandits and highwaymen. This constant threat of robbery prompted the formation of the first bank – the Bank of the Black Ox, which evolved into Lloyds Bank.

A tremendously hardy breed, with the ability to withstand extremes of temperature and terrain, it is officially classified as a dual-purpose breed, producing both milk and beef.

Additional Resoruces

For more information on Welsh Black Cattle:

Welsh Black Cattle Society