Weaver’s Cottage is located in the village of Kilbarchan. Before the emergence of the weaving industry, Kilbarchan parish was mainly agricultural, with much of the land owned by the monks at Paisley Abbey. The origins of Kilbarchan, however, go back as far as the late 6th/early 7th century after St Barchan established a church there. It was not until the middle of the 18th century that the town shifted to reflect new streets and the new lines of work from those living in the village.

The cottage one of the earliest weaver’s cottages in the village, built in 1723. There is a marriage lintel above the door noting the construction date of the cottage, reading ‘BUILDED · ANNO 1723 BY ANDREW · BRYDEIN JOHN · BRYDEIN JENET · BRYDEIN’.

The cottage, a significant part of Kilbarchan’s local heritage, was gifted to the Trust in 1954. This marked the beginning of a transformative journey, with an extensive repair and restoration programme. The aim was to create a visitor attraction that could connect with our local community and enhance the traditional skill of weaving. The village was once home to hundreds of weavers, living and working in cottages like this one.

With the expansion of the weaving industry at Kilbarchan, the population increased throughout this century, with 180 looms by 1774, 360 looms by 1782, and 380 looms by 1791; into the 19th century, the weaving industry in Kilbarchan expanded even further. In 1840, the number of looms peaked at a whopping 900 in the village.

The main floor of the cottage is divided into apartments that would have hosted different families over time, and the rooms are set to give an idea of how people lived in the cottages over the 19th century. The attic has a surviving original cruck frame in between two-bed recesses.

The cottage, though small, offers a unique three-level experience. Most cottages had a working loom in the basement, allowing weavers to literally work from home.