Collections of sheep ear-marks

Scope and Content

Five books of drawings of sheep ear-marks ranging in date from 1855 to 1935. The geographical areas covered are Merioneth, northern areas of Montgomeryshire (bordering on Merioneth) and a few parishes in Caernarfonshire, namely, Llanberis, Penmachno, Capel Curig, Dolwyddelan and Beddgelert.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ear-marks on sheep or other animals, served as a sign of ownership. This form of marking was particularly important in mountainous areas where animals were allowed to graze and wander in open country.

Several Welsh books of sheep ear-marks were published in the late 19th century and early 20th century. They were considered to be an asset to the agricultural community who would use them to acquaint themselves with the different markings used by their neighbouring farmers. However, the use of such books to avoid the loss suffered by farmers due to wandering sheep greatly depended on the loyalty of individuals towards each other.


There is no apparent system of arrangement. All items were received at different occasions and have thus been catalogued separately and incorporated into the General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts

Access Information

Open to all users.


Description compiled by Elen Wyn Hughes, February 2002.

Other Finding Aids

An item level typescript catalogue is available at the Archives Department of the University of Wales Bangor. Reference numbers: General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts: 747, 792, 5336, 5570, 22989

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright conditions apply. Reprographics are made at the discretion of the Archivist

Related Material

A book of sheep ear-markings for Llidiardau, Y Bala, Merioneth is to be found amongst the Papers of Owen Lewis, Arthog. Reference number: General Collection of Bangor Manuscripts: 25116