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Officially opened by Robert Owen on 1st January 1816, the Institute for the Formation of Character building at New Lanark is celebrating its Bicentenary this year. Built for Learning and Leisure, many of the Millworkers who lived at New Lanark & within the surrounding area enjoyed leisure activities within this building such as dancing, games and musical concerts.
When the building was officially opened, Robert Owen made a lengthy speech to the assembled villagers and assorted local dignitaries. In what was subsequently known and published as the Address to the Inhabitants of New Lanark, Owen described the new opportunities that were to be offered to his community, and the very significant resources that were to be committed to it. It was a long and wide-ranging peroration covering education, religion, justice, health, industry and society. Mercifully for the twelve-hundred strong audience, the proceedings were punctuated by a musical interlude, a chorus of music emanating from the adjoining apartment, where musicians and singers were stationed in readiness.
Today the Institute for the Formation of Character houses the reception of the New Lanark Visitor Centre and the River Room which is used for temporary exhibitions & functions. Upstairs features the stunning Musicians' Room which is used frequently for wedding receptions by the New Lanark Mill Hotel, and the impressive Gallery Room which has been used for large-scale exhibitions such as the Great Tapestry of Scotland.
We're celebrating the Institute's '200th birthday' throughout 2016 with a range of linked events and exhibitions. Take a look below!
16 January: Music in Lanark - Tyde.
6 - 9 February: Guided tours of the village.
8 - 9 February: Bicentenary Craft Workshops.
11 February: Music in Lanark - Yehudi Menuhin School.
18 February - 31 March: Keeping Glasgow in Stitches.
5 March: Music in Lanark - Cuillin Sound.
18 March: Ferio Saxophone Quartet (Music in Lanark)
23 April: Scottish Family History Fair.
2 June - 12 August (closed 1 August): Building Scotland.
13 May: Robert Owen Commemoration Lecture & Bicentenary Celebration.
14-15 May: Bicentenary Activities
2 June - 31 July: Scotstyle.
17 July: Back in Time Experience.
10 - 11 September: Doors Open Weekend.
World Heritage Site
South Lanarkshire Scotland
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