New Lanark




New Lanark

Site Information

Country: Scotland
State: South Lanarkshire
Location: 55° 39' 47" N - 3° 46' 54" W
Field Documentation Date(s): August 1st, 2009
Project Release Date(s): March 1st, 2013
Time Range: 1785 CE - 1968 CE
world map with location

Animation of 3D model based on laser scan data

Site Description

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New Lanark was founded as a cotton mill village in 1768, and was one of the most celebrated examples of a Utopian socialist society during the Industrial Revolution in Europe under the management of Robert Owen. Owen greatly improved the conditions, facilities and services for the workers and their families, leading to many social improvements including progressive education, factory reform, more humane working practices and garden cities. Cotton-spinning mills, powered by water from the River Clyde in Southern Scotland, and tenement style housing for the workforce were built from local sandstone. By 1820, the population of the village was around 2,500, the largest cotton-manufacturing center in the country at that time. It is now a popular tourist attraction and is home to the New Lanark Visitor Centre and New Lanark Mill Hotel. New Lanark was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and is also an Anchor Point of ERIH - The European Route of Industrial Heritage.
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History

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The village of New Lanark was founded in 1785 by David Dale as a completely new industrial settlement. Cotton-spinning mills, powered by water from the River Clyde, and tenement style housing for the workforce were built from local sandstone. By 1820, the population of the village was around 2,500, the largest cotton-manufacturing center in the country at that time. It is now a popular tourist attraction and is home to the New Lanark Visitor Centre and New Lanark Mill Hotel.

Under the enlightened management of David Dale's son-in-law, Robert Owen, from 1800 - 1825, New Lanark became famous as a model community. Owen set about improving and expanding the business, and he used the profits to finance a series of social and educational reforms designed to improve the quality of life for his workers. He did not allow young children to work in the cotton-mills: he established progressive schools for the village in a building known as the Institute for the Formation of Character, including the first infant school in the world, as well as evening classes.

There was great emphasis on musical activities, art, nature study, history and geography, as well as reading, writing and arithmetic; no punishment was allowed. In addition, the villagers had free medical care, a sickness fund and a savings bank, the hours of work were reduced, and the Village Store provided food and household goods cheaply.

The cotton-mills continued in production until 1968. In response to changes in technology, the water wheels which drove the machinery were gradually replaced by water turbines, and the mills produced their own hydro-electricity from 1898. The village, founded during the Industrial Revolution, survived with few physical changes; it is now designated as an Outstanding Conservation Area, and is in the care of an independent charity, the New Lanark Trust. The village still has a resident population of about 180 people who live in the beautifully restored Georgian buildings. These have been modernized internally, but retain their historic character.
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Perspective of view south at New Lanark.

Project Narrative

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New Lanark is one of the ten sites included in the Scottish Ten project, a partnership project between CyArk, Historic Scotland, and Glasgow's School of Art's Digital Design Studio. In August 2009, a team from Historic Scotland and the Glasgow School of Art scanned the site as part of the Scottish Ten. The Scottish Ten ambitiously strives to create accurate digital models of Scotland's five UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites and five international heritage sites over the course of 5 years. Along with New Lanark, the remaining four Scottish World Heritage Sites are the Heart of Neolithic Orkney; the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; and St. Kilda.

For more information about New Lanark, visit the New Lanark Trust's website.
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