Weaver’s Cottage teacher information

This traditional Kilbarchan cottage gives an insight into life before the Industrial Revolution. The 200-year-old loom is still used to weave tartans today.

Weaver’s Cottage was built in 1723 by the Brydein family (their names are on the lintel over the front door). In 1801, William Christie bought the cottage, and his descendants lived there until the early 1950s. The furnishings and fittings within the cottage are mainly Victorian and present a view of pre-Industrial life for a working-class family – without electricity, gas or running water. 

In the weaver’s shop, tartans and blankets are still woven on the handloom, using a method not changed since the 1700s. The pretty cottage garden contains plants that the weaver’s family may have grown (including some suitable for making dyes).

The school programme offers opportunities for cross-curricular work and engaging with the Curriculum for Excellence. Our Learning programme is based on pre-Industrial life. It consists of a guided tour, an object-handling session and activities in the weaver’s shop. There are also opportunities for younger children to dress in 19th-century style clothing. The programme can be adapted for different age groups, including nursery classes.

Possible topics

  • Victorians
  • Weaving
  • Traditional industries

Resources for schools

  • A teacher’s pack – including archive images of Kilbarchan and Paisley – is available.
  • An illustrated guidebook is available for sale at the cottage.

Planning your class visit

  • To book: please contact Weaver’s Cottage on 01505 705588 for a booking form.
  • Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Weaver’s Cottage is open for school visits from April to September, Friday mornings only. Your booked class would be the only group in the cottage.
  • Maximum class size: 25 pupils, with a ratio of 1 teacher/adult to 10 pupils.
  • Access: we regret that there is no access to this small, historic cottage for wheelchair users because of the number of steps and the narrow passageway at the entrance.
  • Toilets: there is one toilet situated within the garden.
  • Picnics: you are welcome to bring picnics to eat in the garden, weather permitting (there are no wet weather facilities). The garden is a safe area for children.
  • Parking: details can be provided when arranging your visit.
  • The site has been risk assessed. Teachers should prepare their own risk assessment for the visit.

Charges

  • There is no admission charge for schools with Trust educational membership.
  • Non-member schools are welcome but there is an admission charge of £2 per pupil.
  • Accompanying adults are admitted free.
  • All class teachers are encouraged to make a free preparatory visit to the site.

During your class visit

  • On arrival: go up the steps and knock on the main door – a member of staff will greet you.
  • The cottage tour and other activities will be led by Trust staff.
  • For the school programme, the class will be split into 3 groups, each with a Trust leader.
  • Teachers are responsible for their pupils and their behaviour.
  • We regret that no photography is allowed within the cottage – but photos can be taken in the garden. We can also arrange for the teacher to take a group photo (particularly if your pupils are in costume)
  • Coats and bags can be left in the back room of the cottage.
  • There is no shop.
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