There are 129 people living in Commondale (2011 Census) and many more sheep. There was a statistic floating around (which I’ve been unable to hunt down) that there are thirty sheep to every person in the Moors, which would make over 70,000 sheep.

Undoubtedly, sheep are a part of everyday life in Commondale, for both farmers and non-farming residents alike. Sheep roam up and down the ‘main’ roads (hardly the M25). So a small group of scampering lambs and their patient mums sauntering past the front gate is more or less an everyday sight at this time of year.

Residents have to keep their gates shut otherwise the sheep will come in and destroy the garden. They are partial to daffodils so there’ll never be a Commondale in Bloom (!) but I’d personally go for sheep over daffs outside my front gate any day. Certainly makes a change from the wheelie bin fires you’d find outside our old house in Sheffield.

Whilst they might might move for me and my small fox red terrier when we’re out on a walk, sheep are not at all bothered about cars. And you can guarantee if you’re running late somewhere, they’ll be a small flock blocking you’re exit at some point. But what a beautiful diversion, eh?


Come along and be part of an art event in Commondale celebrating three key parts of Commondale’s history: clay, sheep and community. Make three sheep out of clay – one for you and two for the flock that will remain in the garden of the village hall, in honour of yourself and someone important to you.

This public art piece will remain for you to visit for some time. Come back and visit it to see the changes as it is slowly weathered by time and the elements.

The project is being run by Sarah Parker and Becky Ciesielski, who are both artists and Commondale residents.

As part of Commondale Art Week we will be open for you to drop in on

Monday 29 May

Tuesday 30 May

Saturday 3 June

between 11am and 4pm at Commondale Village Hall, YO21 2HG.



A brickworks existed in Commondale between 1861 and 1947, under different names and owners. It was known for manufacturing these characteristic hard, bright red bricks.

This glorious specimen (pictured below) was found in our back garden. We live in one of the old brickworkers’ cottages.