The Cadzow cattle are the remaining fold descended from the white cattle that roamed wild in the Caledonian Forest, with populations established in these ancient woods that at one time stretched from the west coast over to Blair Atholl. When the Romans arrived in Britain they wrote of these wild white cattle. They followed seasonal grazing, roaming freely, until the ‘enclosures’ when land reform brought in fenced lands. With their fine stature, white coat and distinctive black muzzle, the cattle have quite a presence with great charisma, so were popular on estates where they could be admired – although there were also tales of their wild behaviour!
There were several herds of Scottish white cattle, originally from the forests, in the early 19th Century but most had died out by the turn of the century. The Duke of Hamilton’s Cadzow cattle are all that are left – currently 25 cows, with 18 calving (2021).
By the mid 1800’s the forests had dwindled, the cattle hunted and all but gone. The Chambers Encyclopaedia at that time mentions the white wild cattle roaming at Chatelherault. By late 19th Century there were only 8 cattle remaining, at which point one or two Chillingham bulls were brought north to preserve the breed. Since then, the Cadzow cattle have remained pure-bred, grazing freely. It would have been used for milk, meat and draught but laterally for meat production. The meat has excellent flavour and marbling and considered a speciality for gastronomes. It should be well hung to develop its fine flavour.
The Duke of Hamilton is custodian of this exceptionally rare breed, as were his forefathers before him. There are two folds of Cadzow cattle, The Lennoxlove fold and The Chatelherault. The six animals at Chatelherault are to exhibit the breed in situ for display purposes. The main fold, The Lennoxlove, is owned by the Duke of Hamilton at Lennoxlove (their residence) where Keith Stuart, Estate Farm Manager is responsible for tending this unique breed. Each year 7-9 are slaughtered, butchered and sent to customers in UK, Belgium and Germany.
They have distinctive white coats, with black muzzles, ears, feet and horn tips. Genetically linked to Highlanders and Galloway, there have a remarkable genetic distance to any domestic breeds. There are also marked differences between the Cadzow and the white Chillingham cattle of England. The Cadzow breed are significantly larger and their coat a noticeably different shade.
No butchery on site, only cattle grazing. When there is meat available from a butcher it will be posted here. (last edited August 2021)