Updated: Jul 4
The Silk Weaver’s Garret
CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC
Welcome to the Platt-Collins Museum at The Doll's House Art Gallery, a 1:12 scale silk weaver's garret on Park Lane in Macclesfield, inspired by the building it is within, a (very) early Victorian weaver's cottage.
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a garret is:
“A very small, uncomfortable room at the top of a house.”
The Oxford English Dictionary describes one as:
“A top-floor or attic room, especially a small, dismal one.” Eg "The solitary genius starving in a cold garret".
Well, we love our dismal garret! Obviously we have the many benefits of not living in Victorian Northern England, but we've loved finding out about silk weaving and who lived at 130 Park Lane before us. We know it's not an exact replica, but we hope it makes you smile!
Hand weavers Joseph Platt and William Collins and their families lived here from at least 1861-1911! It is likely they worked from home in the garret which would have been knocked through, joining the row, but weavers didn't necessarily live and work in the same building.
The museum is inspired by the lives of former residents:
Joseph Platt, Silk Weaver, 1813-1881, lived at 130 Park Lane at the time of the 1861 & 71 censuses.
William Collins, Silk Weaver by hand, b.1843, lived at 130 Park Lane at the time of the 1881, 1891, 1901 & 1911 censuses!
To find out more about Macclesfield's silk weaving history, we recommend a visit to, the fascinationg The Silk Museum and Paradise Mill just down the road. This is also a good read about "how a northern town became a silk powerhouse" for those of you who don't know much about its history.
A tiny thank you to Macclesfield Town Council
Community Grants for supporting the museum
through a micro-fund!
Did you know?
In the 1880s, artist Vincent Van Gogh began to study the everyday lives of the craftsmen and artisans who lived in the town of Nuenen in the Netherlands, where he was living at the time.
He felt such intense compassion for these manual labourers, and his affinity with their hard life has been
suggested in passing, but is little understood.
He made several paintings depicting weavers, which offer great insight to their lives that otherwise may not have existed. Art critics suggest that in these works, weavers' meditative and disciplined approach to their craft has been used by the painter as a visual metaphor for his own approach to painting.
Looking for something to do with the kids?
Print our gallery sheet to be an art critic! Take pics of the gallery and then fill in the questions at home.
We like dolls and costumes here at the museum, and we LOVE Paper Thin Persona's style! Cut out and colour these fab designs.
We thought this list of quizzes about Victorian life were interesting, particularly so someone studying them!
Have you been on the Macclesfield Heritage Trail?