Our Story

Our Black Sheep story began in 1966 with the chance purchase of six Black Welsh Mountain Sheep by Clare Hoare, the founder of the company. Originally bought as cheap lawnmowers to keep the meadows around Clare and her husband Gerard's Mill House looking tidy, a fascination with the breed soon took hold. Finding that the breed was on the endangered breeds list and in need of having their commercial future secured, set Clare on a journey to achieve just that.

Some of the flock in front of the Mill House


Roll forward to 1982, and Clare has a flock of over 500 breeding ewes, and a burgeoning business spinning, knitting, and selling the wool and garments. Throughout the 80s it became apparent that there was a huge worldwide demand for the distinctive natural wool garments that Black Sheep produced.

One of our scarf and hat machines


Although Black Sheep had an army of dedicated hand knitters, demand was such that the sensible option was to make machine knitted garments as well.  Always keeping to the 'made in England' ethos.

Pam knits a pair of 'steptoes'


After a period of expansion throughout the 1990s, when Black Sheep began to export worldwide, Clare Hoare retired in 1999, handing over to her cousin Robert Hoare. Robert joined the company in 1993 as a salesman / general dogsbody - while his sales skills have remained constant, he now feels he is the best dogsbody in the company.

With his fellow director Kate Barclay (who, funnily enough, also claims to be the best dogsbody in the company), Black Sheep has continued to grow, and build on the original ethos of British quality coupled with personal customer service.

The Black Sheep 'Fergie'  Like a Black Sheep jersey - beautiful, rugged and durable.


We hope you enjoy browsing our site.  Please do contact us if you need any further information or assistance.

Black Sheep Ltd

6 Home Farm Business Park, Marsham, Norfolk, NR10 5PQ
Tel: +44 (0)1603 279745
email Black Sheep