Woven in Ulster: Ulster-Scots and the Story of Linen

Woven in Ulster: Ulster-Scots and the Story of Linen

Lesson 1: Working at Home

This lesson introduces pupils to the cottage industry phase of linen production in eighteenth and early nineteenth century Ireland and to the language of one of the Ulster-Scots ‘rhyming weaver’ poets. Pupils are given an opportunity to carry out a Talking and Listening activity about the distribution of labour in a typical weaver’s cottage.

Lesson Plan

Keywords and Phrases

weaver loom yarn spinning winding

Learning Intentions

Pupils will:

  • know that in former times (the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) children from an early age were trained to work to contribute to the family income;
  • understand that in linen-making much of this work was done at home, and that parents gave the training; and
  • understand the different roles of children and of men and women in the cottage-based linen industry in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by reading the work of an Ulster-Scots ‘rhyming weaver’ poet.

Links to Curriculum

The World Around Us: History


  • Technological change and the impact of inventors and inventions over time which have impacted on the home weaving industry.


  • Places then and now and how our identity, way of life and culture has been shaped by influences from the local and wider world in relation to the home weaving industry in Ulster.

Personal Development & Mutual Understanding

Strand 2 (Mutual Understanding in the Local and Wider Community)

  • Knowing about aspects of Ulster-Scots cultural heritage which have contributed to society today.

Suggested Websites & Resources

Did you know

some of the Ulster-Scots weavers were great poets? Another word for a poet is a ‘bard’.

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