The Moat House Story…

So why ‘Moat House’?

Well, here’s where it all began…

An old Oak tree within the grounds of ‘The Moat House’ in Appleby Magna, Derbyshire, had dropped a limb. It had been chopped, seasoned, and was ready to go onto the fire.

A young family called The Clarke’s lived at this wonderful medieval house and thought it criminal to keep burning the Oak which had such a beautiful and distinguished grain.  They set their minds as to what could be made with this special wood.

Nick looked around for inspiration and soon stumbled across his daughter’s 3D cinema glasses. Bingo! He traced around them and carved out the very first pair of ‘Moats’, the results humorous and impressive in equal measures. He thoroughly enjoyed the process and thought there was something very cool about wooden frames.

That seemingly daft idea then became a serious business consideration and since then a substantial investment has been made into tooling and a state-of-the-art glazing lab, allowing wooden eyewear of unrivaled quality, style and ethics to be produced.

Wherever possible, local suppliers are used to ensure a low carbon footprint. All parts of the process are done in-house, including the glazing, giving the company full control of their manufacturing and the ability to ramp up production quickly, to meet demand.

Wooden Sunglasses have proven to be a global trend which is here to stay as consumers seek out unique, eco-friendly alternatives to plastic. Moat House are proud to be market leaders in this field.

In addition to manufacturing for their own brand, Moat House now also take on ‘white label’ manfacturing for other brands.

The sunglasses proved to sell particularly well in coastal destinations and so in July 2017, Sam and Nick relocated their family and the manufacturing, down to North Devon where they renovated an old blacksmith’s forge, saving it from collapse. ‘The Old Forge’ is where Moats are now produced, although on a sunny day, you might spot us sanding sunglasses down on the beach, in Lynmouth, enjoying the view of boats & seagulls bobbing about on the harbour.


The First ever pair of ‘moats’, crafted in ye olde’ 2013

April 2013
Our first pair of Moats were made
June 2013
Launched Moat House Eyewear with a focus on design and research
February 2014
Our First British exhibition, took on 10 new stockists
August 2014
Spotlight on Eco brands; Guardian Newspaper feature us for our Green Credentials
September 2014
First international Eyewear Show – Paris. Took on 8 international stockists
July 2015
First time exhibiting at Carfest – sold out!!
November 2015
Began ‘White Label’ Manufacturing for international wooden eyewear brands
April 2016
Invited to showcase our poducts at Highgrove House (Home of HRH Prince Charles)
June 2016
Winners of the GREEN TRADER award at Glastonbury Festival – Our prize = being invited to trade for FREE in 2017 🙂
June 2016
Winners of the GREEN TRADER award at Glastonbury Festival – Our prize = being invited to trade for FREE in 2017 🙂
July 2016
Project ‘Relocate Moat House Eyewear to Devon’ begins…Watch this space and don’t worry if we go a little quiet, there is a lot to organise!
July 2017
Relocated the business to Devon

Quality Craftsmanship - Our Process

Our processes are vital in ensuring high quality craftsmanship throughout the creation of each and every single pair of sunglasses. With over 25 separate stages of crafting, Moat House sunglasses are truly handmade from Scratch, right here in the United Kingdom.

Wherever possible, Moat House Eyewear give new life to old wood by reclaiming timber. If not re-sawing wood, we only use certified, sustainable wood.

This key piece of equipment ensures precision detail and is the most eco-friendly way of making wooden sunglasses as it maximises yield from wood.

Laser cutting sunglass boxes

Using the ancient technique of cross bonding thin veneers of wood in different directions, Moat House Sunglasses are cold formed overnight for shape and strength.

Forming and Crossbonding wood

The most time consuming part of the process, every pair of Moats is lovingly sanded with 11 different grades of sandpaper until the wood is as smooth as ‘puppy dog’s ears’

hand sanding sunglasses

Moat House use the highest quality Oil/Wax finish which is skin friendly, sweat-resistant and kind to human, plant and animal. We apply 3 separate coats to ensure durability and a long-lasting finish.

Keeping all glazing in-house, our state-of-the-art glazing lab allows us to fit a variety of lenses from basic sunspec through to prescription lenses.

Glazing our wooden sunglasses
Green Resourcing
Deforestation is a serious contributor to green-house gas emissions which is why Moat House only uses reclaimed timber or responsibly sourced hardwood to make their sunglasses. Used responsibly, wood is a far greener choice than plastic frames.
Zero wastage
Once prepared, the wood is cut to shape, using a laser. Unlike the way in which most wooden sunglasses are made (from one solid piece of wood), our process results in almost zero wood wastage, getting the most from this precious natural resource.
Re-planting Scheme
Moat House Eyewear plant an endangered tree in the Rainforest for every pair of Moats you buy helping to preserve this natural resource for generations to come.

The Moat House Squad

MD & Designer-Maker
‘Moats’ were Nick’s Brain-Child. He’s the main man, who took the first leap of faith and fled the rat-race in pursuit of doing what he loves…
Sam (aka Smamf)
Director of...most things
Responsible for pretty much everything except the really technical stuff!
Artist & Finisher
Awesome on the laser and a bit of a perfectionist! LOVES Tattoos, also one of our Moat House Models…Wit woo 🙂
Crafter & Web Monkey
All round talented chap…What more can we say??
Laser Beam specialist
Demon on the laser (TICK) Super fast finisher (TICK) Ideas Guru (TICK)
Master Glazer
OMG, this man is worth his weight in gold… Process and improvement driven with an engineering mindset. No challenge too big for Wayne!
Sand Man
Rob really should have a record contract by now but in the absence of one takes comfort in sanding Moats to perfection… Our very own resident DJ
Amy (affectionately known as BABBA)
Quality Control Specialist
If our sunglasses are not as soft as Babba’s ‘puppy dawg ears’ then they go straight back to the Sand Man…

Working with British and International brands is our forte! If you’re interested in partnering, or just discussing opportunities then let us know. Want to find out more?