Celebrity chef Richard Corrigan herds sheep over bridge in London

Richard Corrigan drove sheep over Southwark Bridge (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA) (PA Archive)
Richard Corrigan drove sheep over Southwark Bridge (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA) (PA Archive)

A celebrity chef has taken up his ancient right to herd sheep over a London bridge.

Richard Corrigan, who owns multiple restaurants in the city, walked over Southwark Bridge behind nine sheep on Sunday as part of the 10th London Sheep Drive fundraising event.

As a Freeman of the City of London, the three-time Great British Menu winner has the historic entitlement to drive sheep over the River Thames toll free, retracing the steps of London’s ancient trading routes.

Corrigan was joined by former lord mayor of London Sir Andrew Parmley and sheriffs of the city of London for his walk.

There are 45,000 sheep farmers in the UK and employment in the industry is worth around £290 million to the economy.

Corrigan, from County Meath in Ireland, said he felt “a deep sense of pride” from participating in the “lovely, beautiful, symbolic moment”.

He said: “It culminates a life’s work in London, bringing those sheep over the bridge, and every step was another memory.”

Corrigan said the sheep coming over the bridge “weren’t very well behaved”, and when asked whether he’d do it again, he added: “Maybe a bit faster!”

Ann Dent, chairwoman of the Sheep Drive, said: “Over the last decade the Worshipful Company of Woolmen has raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity and thousands of Freemen and their guests have herded their flock, as happened in olden days.”

The Worshipful Company of Woolmen, who organised the event, is one of the oldest livery companies and traces its roots back to 1180.