Get in touch with the past with free workshops

Bring the past alive with FREE workshops

Filed under News
Date posted: Monday, 04 July 2016

Bring the past of the Clyde and Avon Valley alive by taking part in the FREE workshops taking place in New Lanark and Larkhall this summer.

‘From Sheep To Shawl’ and ‘Tasting Through Time’ are a series of hands-on workshops from CAVLP Heritage which offer participants the chance to explore aspects of the area’s unique textile and tasting heritage. Both sets of workshops have been designed as a package, although participants are able to pick and choose which dates suit them best.

‘From Sheep To Shawl’ workshops take place in New Lanark on various Fridays and Sundays until mid August. Workshops take participants through the traditional textile production process from responsible foraging to natural dye making, hand spinning and wool craft such as knitting and crocheting. The Workshops have been tailored to suit families but are limited to ten places per workshop so early booking is recommended at

‘Tasting Through Time’ workshops take place in Larkhall on various Tuesdays and Thursdays until the end of September. Each workshop will offer participants to cook a different apple based recipe, such as stews, pastries and cakes, from Medieval times through to the present day, taking Clyde Valley orchard heritage as inspiration.

Workshops have been tailored to suit over 16’s and are limited to five places per workshop, so early booking is recommended at The FREE workshops have been scheduled to fit varied schedules, with sessions taking place on weekdays and weekends, days and evenings.

They are hosted by CAVLP Heritage who are managed by Northlight Heritage and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and Historic Environment Scotland.

Forage in local woodlands for traditional dye making plants
Forage in local woodlands for traditional dye making plants such as elder bark, bramble and comfrey

“Prior to the Industrial Revolution clothes making and food processing were complex and time consuming tasks. Today, much of that work is completed by machines that weave our cloth, and factories that process our food. These workshops will give people a better understanding our ancestors’ reliance on the natural resources around them,” explains CAVLP Heritage Officer Karen McCusker.

She continues, “We are hoping to bring the past to life through traditional handicraft skills and give people the opportunity to get more in touch with their local landscapes and the rich heritage of living and working the land in the Clyde and Avon valley. ”

The workshops follow a series of ‘Tasting Through Time’ pilot workshops undertaken in May. Lorna Diplacito, Lanark, attended the pilot sessions. She says, “I recently attended a cookery class run by Karen from CAVLP Heritage which I really enjoyed and found very informative. We cooked pork stew grinding lots of spices using a mortar and pestle followed by pear custard using honey as a sweetener, which were recipes from Roman times. In those days the recipes did not have measurements so it was a guessing game on how much to use – luckily it worked! Looking forward to booking up for the next cooking sessions.”

Participants enjoy Roman pork stew made in May 'Tasting Through Time' workshops
Participants enjoy ancient Roman pear custard made in May 'Tasting Through Time' workshops

The FREE workshops are part of a wider project, Capturing the Past, which seeks to explore the historical working lives of people from the Clyde and Avon Valley. The hands-on workshops are being offered alongside archaeological volunteering opportunities, which focus on researching sites such as Hoolet Row at Chatelherault Country Park, St Ninian’s Kirkyard in Stonehouse and McIvor’s Bedding Plants in Craignethan Glen.

Schools and groups are encouraged to get in touch if they are interested in arranging the FREE private workshops for their students. ‘Sheep to Shawl’ and ‘Tasting Through Time’ have been designed to fit in with the Curriculum for Excellence, Duke of Edinburgh and John Muir Awards as well as Badge Activities for Guides, Scout and the Boys and Girls Brigade, courses can be tailored to meet the needs of any age group and ability and can last between 2 to 4 hours. Please see the brochure below for more details, or download it by clicking on the link on the right under 'Other Resources.'



Book your FREE place on a workshop at For further enquiries about booking a workshop for your school or group, or to find out more about volunteering for Capturing the Past, contact Karen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 01555 661 555.

FREE Sheep to Shawl textile workshops, New Lanark Craft Rooms, 2-4pm

Sunday 3 and Friday 8 July: Dye Plant Foraging Walk

Sunday 10 and Friday 15 July: Natural Dye Making

Friday 22 and Sunday 24 July: Traditional Hand Spinning

Friday 12 and Sunday 14 August: Woolcraft

FREE Tasting Through Time workshops, Larkhall District and Volunteer District Centre, 55 Victoria Street, Larkhall, 6-8pm

Tuesday 5 and Thursday 21 July

Tuesday 2 and Thursday 18 August

Tuesday 6 and Thursday 22 September 

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