New Lanark World Heritage Site
A restored 18th century cotton mill built on Utopian ideals
New Lanark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for the pivotal role it played in social improvements during the 18th and 19th centuries. New Lanark has been beautifully restored as a living community and visitor attraction where you can explore the history of the mills and lives of the villagers.
Constructed in 1785 by the businessman and philanthropist David Dale, New Lanark comprised of four mills and associated buildings for spinning cotton and housing for the millworkers. In 1799, Dale sold the mills to a partnership that included his son-in-law and mill manager, Robert Owen.
Owen, like Dale, believed in social reform and he continued to improve working conditions and facilities for his workers. He provided the first workplace nursery school in the world, decent homes, fair wages, free health care, a new education system for villagers and created woodland for the relaxation and well-being of the workers. As one of the largest mills in Scotland, New Lanark was a leading example of a successful business that cared for the people who worked there.
Explore the history of the mills and the village by going on the Annie McLeod Experience ride, visiting Robert Owen’s School for Children, Robert Owen’s House, 19th and 20th century Millworkers’ Houses, the Village Store and the working textile machinery. For refreshments, head to the Mill Café or the New Lanark Mill Hotel. Check out the New Lanark Mill Shop for gifts including New Lanark Wool and Textiles and don’t miss Clearburn Natural Play and Picnic Area which offers fantastic opportunities for wild play.
Don't miss the Shaping the Landscape Exhibition in Robert Owen's Institute for the Formation of Character, free to people living in local postcodes, and included in general admission.
The New Lanark Collections are available online or you can visit the Search Room, which is open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm. Other New lanark collections are available through the University of Glasgow Archive Services, Historic Environment Scotland, Scran, The University of Southern Indiana, Historic New Harmony, the National Co-operative Archive and the Robert Owen Museum. Find out more by clicking the link on the right.