Romney is truly a versatile breed, as demonstrated by its ability to produce quality meat and wool under diverse climate conditions and management systems. It is so-named for the Romney Marsh region in Kent, England where it was developed as a dual purpose sheep. Due to the extreme geographic and climatic conditions of the region, Romney sheep developed some specific breed characteristics which include hooves which are resistant to footrot and fleeces which remain heavy in harsh weather.
Due to similar land topography, Romneys made an easy transition to the Southern Island of New Zealand and the Falkland Islands where they quickly established themselves as the most predominant breed. The first Romneys came to the United States in 1904. Their long, lustrous fleeces are sought by hand spinners.