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 was controlled. Water is taken from the Clyde through a 275m long tunnel and then channelled through the Lade. Sluice Gates at intervals along the Lade were used to control the flow of water from the Lade into the waterwheels and latterly the turbines. Once the water had passed through the wheels it would be channelled back into the Clyde through the Tailrace. The lade was restored in the 1980s and is still in use today, supplying water to the restored Boving turbine in the basement of Mill 3 which provides hydro-electricity to power the mills.
You can find out more about how the mills were powered in the New Lanark Power Trail publication.