William Archer brought merinos to Van Diemen’s Land in 1824, but they were never the main source of income for Brickendon.

Merinos were phased out in the 1860s and dual-purpose sheep were run until the brief return of merinos in the 1980s. Sheep numbers varied from 1500 to 8000 depending on seasons and prices. The shearing shed has been altered slightly and the draught horse stables converted, to cater for the increased number of sheep shorn. Today’s wool is crossbred with an average of 30 micron and is used mainly for outer garments such as coats, socks and work jumpers. Ewe shearing at Brickendon is in June (before lambing) and lambs are shorn before being sold.

The first stage of clipping a sheep.
The first stage of clipping a sheep. (Source: The Book of the Farm Volume II, Henry Stephens)