|Address:||New Lanark, South Lanarkshire, ML11 9DB, 01555 661345|
|Opening Hours:||November to March: 10 am to 4 pm |
April to October: 10 am to 5 pm
Closed 25th December and 1st January
|Admission:||Adult £ 13.95, Child (3 - 15yrs) £ 9.95 Senior £ 11.50, Family (2+2) £ 43.95|
|Accessibility:||Yes, by prior arrangement|
New Lanark is a beautifully restored late 18th century cotton mill village midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Here, in the early 19th century, Robert Owen created a unique work environment where child labour and corporal punishments were abolished, workers were given decent homes, children went to school and Mr Owen opened a village shop for the mill workers.
This story is told in the different buildings of the visitor centre. The tour starts with a sort of "ghost train" ride around various dislplays with narration from "Maggie", the ghost of a childworker who tells you all about her life in the Mills. You are then free to wander around the "village" where you can see a school room, a recreation of the co-operative village store (complete with plastic food stuffs) and recreations of mill workers houses from the 1940's and 1820's. The 19th century living conditions might seem basic to us, but they were a revolutionary improvement for mill workers at that time.
Within the main mill building, there is a floor with an exhibition about the evolution of the cotton industry in Britian and you can still see working textile machinery as cloth production continues on a small scale at the Mill.
The grounds of New Lanark mill are an attractive area to explore on foot and it is a pleasant walk to head upstream from the Mill towarsds the Fals of Clyde. The mill buildings are surprisingly attractive too and you can imagine that life here would have been relatively pleasant for the residents. Robert Owen even chose to live within the village and his house is one of the restored building that you can visit. Whilst it is certainly more comfortable than the homes of the mill workers, it also displays restraint and is not a grand as you might expect. Perhaps Mr Owen's rather modestly proportioned home is a reflection of his concern about what his workforce would think of him?