Verdant Works Timeline

  • 1790


    Linen and flax Mills begin production in the Blackness area.

  • 1820


    First twenty bales of jute were unloaded at Dundee docks.


  • 1833


    Built for David Lindsay, (merchant and flax spinner) Verdant Works begins textile production.

  • 1847


    ‘10 hour Factory Act’ introduced. This meant that people could only be made to work for up to 10 hours per day- before this boys might be working up to 18 or 19 hours a day.


  • 1852


    Female mill worker killed at Verdant Works- 26th March. The girl was entangled in a carding machine and sustained such injuries before she could be released ‘as to occasion instantaneous death’.

  • 1855


    The first jute mill in India is established in Serampore using machinery and workers from Dundee.

  • 1863


    Average life expectancy for a Dundee man is 33.

  • 1864


    Verdant Works employs 500 people, which places it 16th out of 61 steam-powered textiles mills and factories in the city.

  • 1874


    Great political unrest leads to the ‘The Great Strike of 1874’ where 30,000 workers protested for four days against a proposed 10 percent reduction in wages.


  • 1885


    Dundee and district Mill and factory operatives union formed with 6,000 members, most of them women.

  • 1889


    Verdant’s time as a true textile works is over and the name disappears from the list of mills and factories in the Dundee Directory.

  • 1893


    Verdant Works has new owners. Alexander Thomson and Sons use the site to recycle jute waste into flock for stuffing mattresses and furniture, cure rabbits for the fur trade and deal in scrap metals.

  • 1900


    Calcutta takes over from Dundee as leading jute producer.

  • 1901


    Over 2,000 children under 14 still employed as ‘half-timers’ in the mill. Population 161,000. In the 1901 census there were 3 women for every 2 men in the city and two thirds of the 39,752 employed in textiles in this year were female.

  • 1904


    50% of Dundee men who volunteered for the army refused as unfit- they were deemed ‘undersized, underfed and under strengthened’.


  • 1911


    The average number of people living in one home is eight, with 70% of people in Dundee living in one or two rooms.

  • 1950


    Jute processing in Dundee is in decline as production moves to India.Only 39 jute firms left out of a total of 150 at the industry’s peak.

  • 1996


    Verdant Works opens to the public as a museum.

  • 2016


    The High Mill is officially opened as Verdant Works celebrates 20 years as a museum.

  • 2017


    The Great Tapestry of Scotland | Part II is shown in the High Mill at Verdant Works

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