Please note, our Visitor Centre is closed, but New Lanark is a fantastic destination for a socially distant day out. Our walkways, Clearburn Picnic Area & Playpark, Café and Hotel are all open, with revised procedures in place to ensure staff and visitor safety.

  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site

    Explore the facinating history of New Lanark

Building a Village at New Lanark

In order to man 4 large cotton spinning mills in a remote part of the Scottish countryside, David Dale knew he would have to supply housing for the workers. Lanark itself did not have a large enough population and there were no modern conveniences like cars and public transport to bring in workers from further afield. Workers and managers at New Lanark would have to live in New Lanark. Many of the buildings that were built to create the village of New Lanark have been restored to provide a true-to-life representaiton on New Lanark in it's 19th century hey-day.

The buildings that still stand are described below. You can also explore Lost Buildings

Millworkers' Housing

The housing provided by David Dale was constructed to a high standard for the time, solidly built from local sandstone with Scotch slate roofs. The houses were built in the tenement style in order to maximise the...

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Mill Managers' Housing

The only detached properties in the village are the two Manager's Houses known today as Robert Owen's House and David Dale's House. They are built in the same style as the other buildings on the site but became known as...

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Institute for the Formation of Character

The Institute for the Formation of Character (1816), together with its companion building, The School for Children (1817), formed the centrepiece of Robert Owen's 'Great Experiment' for New Lanark. Designed as a building...

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Village Church

Constructed in simple gothic style, the Village Church was a much later addition to New Lanark. Following a petition from the villagers to the Gourock Ropework Company to grant them some land, the church was constructed...

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Industrial Buildings

In addition to the 4 massive mills, several other buildings and features at New Lanark were key to the manufacturing process. These included the Waterhouses, Dyeworks and Mechanics' Workshop, as well as the Engine House,...

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The Mill Lade

The Mill Lade, constructed around 1784/5, is one of the most distinctive and important features of the village. It is a long channel that runs the length of the village and is the means by which the power of the river...

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Mechanics' Workshop & Dyeworks

This complex of buildings at the far end of the village was constructed by Robert Owen to help improve efficiency of production in the Mills. The low-rise dyeworks building was originally constructed as an iron foundry...

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Retort House & Chimney

In the early 19th century, the company constructed a gas-making plant, including a Retort House, octagonal chimney and gas holders beside Dundaff Linn. Gas was produced by heating coal brought in from the coal fields of...

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The Waterhouses

The Waterhouses were also constructed by Owen to increase production capacity.  They were built over the tailrace and were used in the early stages of the cotton manufacturing process. Originally they extended as...

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The Engine House

The Engine House was added to the western end of the Institute for the Formation of Character in 1881 to accommodate a newly acquired 550HP Petrie steam engine. Part of the Institute was removed to accommodate this,...

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New Lanark Mill Hotel
New Lanark World Heritage Site New Lanark
ML11 9DB

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