Lend a hand to excavate NTS Weaver’s Cottage

Archaeologists working for conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland have produced a detailed model of an 18th century Weaver’s Cottage in advance of excavation work taking place this weekend.

Members of the public are being invited to join the archaeologists at the Weaver’s Cottage, in Kilbarchan, outside Paisley on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 June 2019 as they dig for more evidence of the lives lived in the historic building.

For the first time, a fully accurate record of the 1723 building based on photography and drawings has been completed and this will inform the digging of test pits.

Compilation of the record was undertaken by AOC Archaeology Ltd, which used a laser scanner to obtain both external and internal elevations and plans of the entire building. This has allowed detailed cross-sections of the irregular structure to be captured. A full Historic Building Survey has been completed and can be viewed by the public when visiting the Cottage.

Derek Alexander, the National Trust for Scotland’s head of archaeology said: ‘As the Weaver’s Cottage is such a complicated little building, split over different levels, and was probably home at one stage to four different families, I have always wanted a detailed record of it.

‘The work has helped us to understand how the building changed and developed over time and will help inform our future management of it.’

Laser scanning was also used to capture a full accurate model of the historic handloom within the cottage, complete with a pit below within which pedals are positioned.

Karen Cornfield, the National Trust for Scotland’s operations manager for Glasgow and the West said: ‘James Wallace, the National Trust for Scotland’s Visitor Services Supervisor at the Weaver’s Cottage said:

‘It was fantastic get such a detailed record of the cottage and loom made. It is such an interesting building.’

Members of the public are being invited along to help dig the test pits in the garden behind the cottage to look for artefacts dating to the use of the house but also anything that might be earlier.

Derek added: ‘We’ve undertaken excavations at the Weaver’s Cottage before and, while most artefacts date to the 18th or 19th centuries, we have also previously found a medieval human skull and a Neolithic stone axe!’

Anyone who wishes to take part in this weekend’s the dig can book a place by clicking HERE.

The Weaver’s Cottage (The Cross, Kilbarchan, Renfrewshire PA10 2JG) is a survivor from a time when hand-woven textiles were the pride of Scotland’s weaving industry before large-scale mills came to dominate.

The cottage vividly re-creates the living and working conditions of a typical handloom weaver. With low ceiling beams and period furniture, it helps give an insight into life before the Industrial Revolution.

The property has an attractive garden, where traditional dye plants including woad and madder are grown, along with a wide range of cottage garden plants.

The National Trust for Scotland is the charity that celebrates and protects Scotland’s heritage. It relies on the support of its members and donors to carry out its important work of caring for the natural and built heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy.