New Lanark is an eighteenth century restored cotton mill village on the banks of the River Clyde, close to the Falls of Clyde in Southern Scotland. New Lanark was created as a cotton-spinning village in the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century and was transformed under the management of Robert Owen. Owen greatly improved the conditions, facilities and services for the workers and their families and this led to many social improvements including progressive education, factory reform, more humane working practices and garden cities.
By 1799 New Lanark was the biggest cotton mill in Scotland and formed one of the largest industrial groups in the world. Over 2,000 people lived or worked in the village. The mill continued manufacturing cotton for nearly 200 years, until 1968. This helps explain why the buildings in the village are so little changed.
Inscription and Significance
New Lanark was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
The Outstanding Universal Value of New Lanark is based on its remarkable degree of survival as a late eighteenth, early nineteenth century planned mill village. The benevolent paternalism of mill owner Robert Owen is physically expressed at New Lanark through its planned layout. His concern for the well being of workers is demonstrated by the provision of the education institute, school and spacious workers’ housing. Owen’s social philosophy had a profound influence on the development of social developments throughout the nineteenth century and beyond.
The full Statement of Outstanding Universal Significance can be read here
New Lanark is located in southern, central Scotland, adjacent to the market town of Lanark.
Managing the Site
New Lanark is a living community in the care of the New Lanark Trust
, whose aim is to preserve the area as a sustainable community with a resident population. The Trust manages the Site in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council
and Historic Scotland. The Site Management Plan guides sustainable management to maintain the Outstanding Universal Value. The current Plan 2013 - 18 and supporting documents can be found here. New Lanark Management Plan [pdf, 2mb} New Lanark Action Plan [pdf, 400kb}
Visiting the Site
The New Lanark Trust offers a range of attractions and educational experiences for visitors, including the mill, museum, village store, school classroom, and Robert Owen’s house. For more information see the New Lanark Trust website.
Further images of New Lanark can be seen at the Scottish Ten website.
For further information contact
The New Lanark World Heritage Site Co-ordinator
Edinburgh EH9 1SH