If you’re heading into London this week and happen to come across a flock of sheep, don’t worry you haven’t gone mad, and a local farmer hasn’t lost their entire flock of sheep.
The gathering of the farm animal is part of a very historic event that is taking place this weekend September 25.
The event, Sheep Dive and Livery, takes place every year and is organised by the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, known as London’s oldest livery company.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the special date, although it is based on ancient traditions.
Seeing links back to Medieval times when sheep farmers would drive their livestock across London Bridge and into the City of London to sell at markets.
Date for your diary! #LiveryFair with guests @citylordmayor & #KateHumble – Sunday 25th Sept on the piazza at #VisitTheMonument Wonderful traditional trades & crafts #wool stalls & #sheep
See ewe there! #DestinationCity https://t.co/3d5K5JvPHk#VisitTheCity @CityandLivery pic.twitter.com/AYlnKYyFEW
— London Sheep Drive 🐑🧶 (@SheepDriveLDN) August 9, 2022
There are no historical records of when the sheep were last ferried across the bridge but it is believed that it would have ended by the early 20th century when motorised vehicles became popular.
But, back in 2013 the organisers, the Worshipful Company of Woolmen, decided it was time to bring back the tradition with the first official sheep drive.
Each year there is a special group of guests that lead the way, with the event led by the Rt Hon the Lord Mayor, Vincent Keaveny who is also a Woolman and a very special guest, farmer, best-selling author and one of the UK’s most-loved broadcasters, Kate Humble.
How to watch the Sheep Drive in London this weekend
If you want to head down to the City of London to catch the sheep drive you can pre-book to access private access onto the bridge, you can pre-book via the website.
There is also the option for free-of-charge access that is on the north side of London Bridge on the piazza adjacent to The Monument.
Plus there will be livery and specialist wool companies who will be celebrating their trades with interactive displays and sales of their wares.
And there will even be other fun activities including expert blade shearing displays and some wonderful rare breed sheep.
Find out more information via the Sheep Drive website.