There are records of Spanish fowl in the UK as far back as 1572 and over the centuries there were further imports from both Holland and Spain. During the 19th century Bristol became a centre for the breed and enthusiasts focused on developing and enlarging the white face that the breed is known for. Indeed the breed is also known as the White faced Black Spanish. The breed was very popular during the 1840’s and 1850’ and large numbers were seen at poultry exhibitions throughout the UK. It is thought that a Spanish Club was founded in the latter half of the 19th century but the actual date is unknown. By the beginning of the 20th century the breed’s popularity had slumped and the breed remains very rare.
The Spanish is a large Mediterranean breed, a slender laying breed with glossy black plumage. The breed’s distinctive feature is the large white face which is particularly impressive on the cocks.
The standard gives half of the judging points for the head-thirty-five points out of one hundred for the face and fifteen points for the comb and wattles. All of the facial skin should be pure white without red patches, brownish scabs or other blemishes. This is a breed for the specialist that is those with only a very small number of breeds.in order to maintain a prize -winning flock ,a considerable number should be kept. The males are susceptible to extreme cold .Outside runs should be protected from wind, rain and extreme sunlight.
As with the other Mediterranean breeds the Spanish is an active, flighty bred and a non-sitter. The breed is a reasonable layer but is not as hardy as other Mediterranean breeds. There are no more than 10 serious breeder/exhibitors. The bantams are extremely rare.