New Lanark, to the south-east of Lanark, has
been a World Heritage Site since 2001. It lies on a particularly
attractive section of the Clyde Walkway just down river from the
spectacular Falls of Clyde.
The village includes an award-winning
visitor centre and hotel. Highlights include a magical and futuristic
ride called the Millennium Experience, the Interactive Gallery and Annie
McLeod's Story, where the ghost of a mill girl tells the story of life
in New Lanark in 1820.
You can find out more about how the
villagers lived and worked by visiting the village store, a millworkers
house and mill owner and social pioneer Robert Owen's house. Events are
also staged throughout the year in the visitor centre and the New Lanark
The resident population is around 185. In
addition to the 45 properties that can be rented from New Lanark Homes,
a subsidiary company of New Lanark Trust, there are 20 houses which are
For more information please go to the
New Lanark website (this link will open in a new window).
This 18th century cotton mill village has
been beautifully restored as a lasting monument to mill owner and social
pioneer Robert Owen who bought the mill from his father-in-law David
Philanthropist and industrialist David Dale
started workers' welfare reforms at his New Lanark cotton mills after
entering into a brief partnership with Richard Arkwright, the inventor
of the "spinning frame" machine. They built the New Lanark Mills on the
banks of the Clyde, which opened in 1786. After the partnership broke up
Dale continued alone and expanded his factory to such an extent that in
the early 1790s it had become the largest water-powered spinning mills
in Britain, with more than 1300 employees..
Dale (who eventually became one of Glasgow
Royal Infirmary's first directors in 1795) had first hand knowledge from
his industrial background of the ill health and disease common among the
poor. He focused his concerns on how to improve the lives of his workers
and undertook to provide them with decent housing, schooling and medical
care, something other employers had never done before. His employees, by
18th century standards, were treated very well, working from 6am to 7pm
after which the youngsters attended school for two hours. Day-time
classes were even set up for children who were too young to work, a
first for any factory.
News of what he was trying to achieve spread
and attracted people from all over Europe, Russia and America to visit
Dale's model industrial village with its large mills, innovative
production techniques and forward-looking attitude to its workforce.
In 1799 Dale sold out to his son-in-law,
Welshman Robert Owen, who went on to introduce radical ideas including
the novel concept that you can get better work out of your employees if
they are happy, prosperous and educated.
The cotton mills were operational until 1968
but by then New Lanark was in decline with many buildings under threat
However, in 1974 the New Lanark Conservation
Trust was established to conserve and restore many of the historic
buildings. Today it is a living and working community attracting around
400,000 visitors annually.
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