MARGE the aptly named ewe has defied odds of a million to one and given birth to five healthy lambs....including Bart and Lisa!

The Mounsey-Heysham family, whose Castletown Estate and Farm, is at Rockcliffe, on the outskirts of Carlisle, decided that as mum Marge was the matriarch and their ram, Homer, the patriarch, the rare quintuplets should be named after characters from the American TV family cartoon 'The Simpsons'.

"As the children get older, no doubt they will watch the Simpsons and enjoy it as we did when we were little.

"It's just a nice family cartoon that has been on the box for decades," said Clemmie Mounsey-Heysham.

"There's not many cartoons which brings the family together in the way the Simpsons does."

It was the first time incredibly-rare quintuplets had been born at Castletown, and came as quite a surprise for the family as Marge the Mule female sheep, who had only scanned for four lambs, gave birth to the five affectionately named Bart, Lisa, Millhouse, Maggie and Edna, last month.

"Marge gave birth to the five all by herself, no-one was around to help her lamb," said Clemmie.

"All five were a great size, and to share the news that one of our ewes has given birth to five lambs is lovely, particularly the strange times we are all currently experiencing," said Clemmie.

Marge, who is four years-old, is getting an extra feed each day, while the five lambs are bottle-fed three times every day, 'to help mum out', explained Clemmie, in addition to grazing around Clemmie and husband Toby's garden at the 4,000 acre estate.

"I don’t think the Simpsons would have ever heard of Cumbria, so to think you have Bart, Lisa and Maggie running around in your back garden is quite surreal, Clemmie added, commenting on the lambs' names.

"It seemed apt that we joked that the ram is named Homer."

“To share the news that one of our ewes has given birth to quintuplets is just wonderful -- especially given the strange times we are currently experiencing.”

“To have five fit and healthy lambs is quite something.

"Usually what happens is that one or two don’t make it, but for all of them to be healthy and evenly sized, it’s a special moment," said farm manager, James Marshall.

"Even the smallest lamb weighs no less than what an average lamb from a set of triplets would weigh," he added.

Toby and Clemmie Mounsey-Heysham are the ninth generation of the Mounsey family to have owned Castletown Estate since 1802.

Castletown is described as a multi-generational rural estate that offers a variety of business opportunities, including farming, residential and commercial properties, construction, environmental management and weddings and events.

Castletown Farm is a 5000 acre farm located between the Esk and the Eden in the heart of the Solway Estuary, selling 1400 finished beef cattle and 1850 salt marsh lambs a year.

The family grow forages, cereals and maize for neighbouring dairy farms and their own livestock.

2,800 acres of the farm is made up of salt marsh, while the other 2,200 acres are low lying inland pastures, arable land, woodlands and wildlife.