New Lanark World Heritage Site : A Review


The New Lanark World Heritage Site sits within a beautiful valley, south east of Glasgow, in unimaginably picturesque surroundings.

It is home to a restored 18th century cotton mill village which tells the remarkable story of Robert Owen, his business and the lives of the people who worked for him.

New Lanark

After parking, you walk down the side of the valley, high above the mill village. Even from a distance, the stunning buildings and lush forest are a memorable sight.

New Lanark

New Lanark

The welcome at the entrance desk is warm and informative. You receive a map, guidance on where to go and a friendly smile. The tour is through a one-way system that begins in the Steam Engine House and takes you up to the 3D Annie McLeod Experience where you get a motorised pod tour with some impressive effects.

New Lanark

New Lanark

Onwards from the atmospheric ride and you get to the mill floor itself. The huge, noisy machines were based here, spinning cotton into useable spools for over a century.

New Lanark New Lanark

It’s odd to think that, over 200 years ago, the third floor of this building had a floor full of machines making a hell of a racket for most of the day. While there’s no doubt that the workers here had a better life than most mill workers of the day, it was still a tough job with long days and testing working conditions.

Onwards and upwards to the roof garden. It’s the best view of the surrounding area yet. A lush, green forest surrounds you. You’ll not forget this beauty for a long time. (No, my photo does not do it justice.)

New Lanark

On 1 January 1800, Mr Owen travelled to Lanark to run the mill that he had just purchased. These were not particularly bright days for the working class, but Owen took gigantic steps to improve the quality of life for his workers and their families.

The mill village is a  living testament to his ideology. Nowhere is this manifested more than in the school he built for the worker’s children. Today, the school building hosts exhibits, a clever 3d film looking at life in the mill, a classroom and a room dedicated to the people of New Lanark.

New Lanark

New Lanark

The class room gives a good idea of how much Robert Owen gave back to his workers and their family. Kids can dress in the uniform / tunics of the day and play with some old toys. No smartphones or tablets here!

New Lanark

An exhibition also details tales of New Lanark from the 20th century including the sacrifices made by many of the locals in the Great War.

New Lanark
You can also visit a typical mill workers house, the old shop and the house of Robert Owen himself.

New Lanark New Lanark

New Lanark New Lanark

This is an exceptional place. We’ve all been to places that recreate period lives but this is not a simulation. These are the actual houses, workplaces and schools of the people who lived and worked here.

The story of Robert Owen and his mill workers is told with such detail and passion that it stays with you long after you’ve left. Young children (our youngest are 4 and 5) got a lot of out of the visit too. You could see it all sinking in and them understanding that this used to be how people lived. I can recommend this place and look forward to going back again to this beautiful place.

You can visit the New Lanark World Heritage Site’s website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or check out their Instagram pics.

19 Comments

  1. Rachel Craig
    21 July 2016
    Reply

    I think I would look around to see where I was. Then determining enviroment, I would need to think things through in order to determine how I was going to manage my life, how to live etc.

  2. Gillian Brewster
    21 July 2016
    Reply

    I would take a look around the cits and see what it looked like. There would have been epic amounts of ship building and tunnels to river etc.

  3. Heather Weir
    21 July 2016
    Reply

    I hope I’ve got money or I’m living in New Lanark where workers were actually looked after and the children got a chance to be educated. I love New Lanark – wish we had a few more Robert Owens these days! Gorgeous for walks and dinner also – wee stay at the hotel might be in order.

  4. Lisa Houston
    21 July 2016
    Reply

    Have to get the brekkie on for the family. get outside and clean the clothes, clean the house, make sure theres a bath tub ready for hubby after work, then q the kids up to be cleaned, make dinner. wasnt really a womans world back in those times

  5. Lynsey Buchanan
    21 July 2016
    Reply

    I would have a good look around and see how unblemished the land was.

  6. Jo Carroll
    22 July 2016
    Reply

    Head straight down to the Patent office and register all those Victorian inventions that haven’t been made yet 😉

  7. Brad Start
    24 July 2016
    Reply

    Breathe and enjoy it……the industrial revolution is some n going to put a stop to that

  8. karen wells
    24 July 2016
    Reply

    look up my ancestors.

  9. Solange
    24 July 2016
    Reply

    I would write some letters and do needlework.

  10. Gary Wild
    31 July 2016
    Reply

    Look for a time machine. The poverty then was so much worse than it is now, however, their quality of life was most likely a whole lot better. Before I went I would try to introduce some of the later inventions.

  11. Jodie W
    3 August 2016
    Reply

    i would go and investigate and see the scenery

  12. Allan Fullarton
    4 August 2016
    Reply

    I would have a good look around and see what life was like before industry ruined it.

  13. donna l jones
    5 August 2016
    Reply

    l would love to see what things have changed

  14. Elspeth MacMillan
    6 August 2016
    Reply

    Explore to see how people lived and worked at in those days

  15. A.E. ADKINS
    6 August 2016
    Reply

    Hope I have pots of money

  16. carol boffey
    6 August 2016
    Reply

    Would love to go there looks great

  17. Patricia Fraser
    6 August 2016
    Reply

    I would probably work in the mill.

  18. Adrian Bold
    6 August 2016
    Reply

    Probably die young from some horrible disease that today we’d cure with a single pill.

  19. Nicola Lang
    7 August 2016
    Reply

    Throw my clothes on and walk to my work at the cotton mills.

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