1792-3; Counting House circa 1810-16; restoration and internal alterations Ian G Lindsay, 1966. 2-storey (3 to rear), 12-bay, gently curved gabled terrace of mill workers' houses with 2-bay, piend-roofed, bow-ended counting house to N end, all one room deep, on sloping site. Random sandstone rubble (coursed rubble to Counting House) with droved and stugged ashlar dressings; S gable harled. Long and sort quoins. Regular fenestration with tabbed ashlar margins. 4 symmetrical 3-bay units to E (front) elevation with stone steps to central timber-boarded doors.
COUNTING HOUSE: 3-bay bowed façade to N with central timber boarded door flanked by windows. 2 bays to side elevations; stone forestair to timber-boarded door at first floor to E elevation.
Predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Gablehead and ridge ashlar-coped rubble stacks with small clay cans. Grey slate roof. Granite sets to pavement at front elevation.
INTERIOR (COUNTING HOUSE): double height oval room at first floor with curved timber-panelled doors to entrance and cupboard surmounted by niche; original iron safe and shelving; original cast-iron fireplace.
Statement of Special Interest
The terrace and counting house occupy a central and thus prominent position in the village. The counting house was placed here to oversee both the mills and the village in general. The building is well-proportioned and the bowed end is a striking feature.
The Statistical Account of 1795 reports that the origins of the name, Caithness Row, stems from 1791 when the emigrant ship 'Fortune', from the Isle of Skye bound for Maryland in America, was dismasted in stormy weather and forced to port at Greenock. David Dale offered the would-be emigrants housing and employment and, to prevent further emigration, pledged to build houses in New Lanark for 200 families. Caithness Row was completed in 1793 and by tradition was named by Highland immigrant villagers after their homeland.
The Counting House was added by Robert Owen. The iron safe protected the workers' weekly wages.
New Lanark was a pioneering cotton-spinning village, which became a model for industrial communities that was to spread across the world in the 19th and 20th centuries and is recognised as being of outstanding importance both historically and in visual terms because of its completeness and its physical form. Elements of sophisticated early town planning are evidenced in the orchestration of the various components in the village, from the mill weir, its lade and tunnel to south, to the tunnels and sluices leading off to the individual mills, the crucially generous circulation spaces, gardens, tailored walks and viewing points realised from the start. It is surrounded by an incomparable natural and designed landscape, the mill buildings sitting on the natural terrace to the east of the River Clyde in this deeply incised, wooded river valley.
Built to exploit the water power offered by the Falls of Clyde, the mills were in operation from 1786 to 1968. The mill village is made up of industrial, residential and community buildings, dating predominantly from between 1786 and the 1820s. The mill was founded by David Dale, a Glasgow merchant, in conjunction with Richard Arkwright, a trailblazing inventor of the cotton spinning industry whose patents enabled operation on a considerable scale. Dale's humane philosophy, realised from the start in the buildings of New Lanark, was expanded by Robert Owen, who took over management of the mill village in partnership from 1799. Owen created an environment where child labour and corporal punishment were abolished, and provided workers with good homes, education and free health care as well as affordable food. He had a profound influence on social developments such as factory reform throughout the 19th century.
Restored as tenancies for the Housing Association, 1966-68.
Within World Heritage Site inscribed 2001.
List description updated 2010.