Destination UK

Bringing the past to life with Verdant Works in Dundee

Posted on
February 21, 2017

Whilst visiting Dundee we visited Verdant Works, a restored mill housing interactive displays telling story of 19th-20th century local jute production.
Verdant Works
After purchasing our tickets in the cafe and shown the map we headed off on the self-guided tour. The first port of call was the office where we met Mr Forrester the Mill Manager who showed us around the office and explained what all the old equipment was for and how it was used.
Verdant Works
I have to say he was engaging and interesting, interacting with the kids and asking them questions to get them interested in their surroundings.
We then headed through the doors where we learned all about jute, where it comes from and what it is used for.
Verdant Works
The real beauty of Verdant works is that multimedia technology lets you touch the lives of the Mill workers through films and exhibits and interactive displays demonstrate how jute fibre was grown, how it is woven and why it was so important.
Verdant Works
We got to see some of the machinery in action, but it was the hands-on activities that the kids got the most out of, trying their hands at weaving………
Verdant Works
……..doing rubbings of old stamps and identifying contents of jute bags just by the smell were among the favourite activities.
Verdant Works
The ground floor of the Mill was all about the product, process and industry but when we headed upstairs we got to see how the mill workers would have lived and worked.
Verdant Works
We learned that work in the Dundee jute mills offered little but drudgery, exhaustion, low wages and constant danger. Most of the workers were women and children as they cost less to employ and employment law was virtually non-existent.
Verdant Works
Workers lived in tiny, crammed rooms and women outnumbered men three to one in the mills, an imbalance in the labour market that gained Dundee the nickname of ‘she town’ as they became the main providers for their families.
Verdant Works
Although work was dangerous and tough, we also got to see how they enjoyed their downtime which was usually a trip to the seaside.
Verdant Works
We saved the most impressive part of the tour until last – the High Mill.
Verdant Works
The High Mill is an impressive building in itself and contains a recently restored 1801 Boulton and Watt steam engine which is demonstrated at specific times during the day.
Verdant Works
I always think it is tricky to understand how machinery like this works, but getting to see it in action with Mr Forrester talking us through how it worked was fascinating.
Verdant Works
Verdant Works takes around 2 hours to get round and costs £9.25 per Adult, Concessions £7.25,  Child £5.50 or a Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) is £27.00. However, they also offer a discount on tickets if you buy joint tickets to Discovery Point, home of the RSS Endeavour which is also a great place to take the kids.


  1. Reply

    five little doves

    February 22, 2017

    Oh this looks like a great place to visit! We love anything like this which is interactive but also educational, it looks like your kids enjoyed it too!

  2. Reply


    February 22, 2017

    Very interesting and educational I love visiting places like this.

  3. Reply


    February 22, 2017

    More parents should be taking their children to places like this. I remember going when I was little and it helps you in later life

  4. Reply


    February 22, 2017

    I love places like this! I love being transported back in time what a fascinating visit.

  5. Reply


    February 22, 2017

    This looks like a wonderful day out. I love learning about such things, all very interesting. Great to take kids too, I like to feed them knowledge and the more time away from small screens the better!

  6. Reply

    Welsh Cakes and Wellies

    February 22, 2017

    This looks a great place to visit with the kids, I love it that these sort of places are getting much more interactive with little ones, that’s the way they learn the best and don’t get bored!

  7. Reply


    February 22, 2017

    This looks like a great place to take the family!

  8. Reply

    Newcastle Family Life

    February 22, 2017

    This looks like a really interesting lace to visit, very educational for children too. I always loved visiting places like this when I was younger xx

  9. Reply


    February 23, 2017

    This looks like a interesting day out. Great place to take the kids 🙂

  10. Reply

    Ella Ivoire

    February 23, 2017

    It looks like a great place to visit. I love how interactive it is and how your kids look like they’re having the time of they’re lives!

  11. Reply


    February 23, 2017

    What a great place to visit. I do love when you go to see historical places and they are interactive for the children

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    February 23, 2017

    Ashamed to say I’m based in Aberdeen but I’ve never visited the Verdant Works. Right it’s on the list. Tough history for the workers (like most industries), great heritage, and good stories. Hope you enjoyed your trip.

  13. Reply


    February 23, 2017

    It’s very interactive and seems like loads of fun for kids whilst they also learn about history and working old apparatus !

  14. Reply


    February 25, 2017

    The kids look like they loved it, I like interactive places x

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog