Circa 1790. 2-storey, basement and attic, 3-bay, rectangular plan, symmetrical, gabled house with steps to central entrance and gently canted dormers. Random rubble with ashlar sandstone dressings. Eaves cornice. Tabbed quoins strips. Regular fenestration with raised margins. 2-leaf timber-panelled entrance door with rectangular fanlight. Regularly-fenestrated rear elevation to street with central staircase window.
Predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber and sash case windows. Ashlar-coped gablehead stacks with yellow clay cans. Ashlar-coped skews. Grey slate roof. Basement area surrounded by plain railings.
INTERIOR: simple but good internal detailing, mostly 19th century. Timber chimneypieces with cast-iron grates to principal rooms; panelled doors and timber shutters throughout. Kitchen fireplace with stone surround and cast-iron range. Flagged floors to hall, staircase kitchen and washhouse.
Statement of Special Interest
This house, now known as Robert Owen's House, is an important component of the mill and village complex. It occupies a prominent site in the centre of the village and is of considerable historical interest. It is one of the two buildings which were occupied as a secondary residence by David Dale and his half brother James, the other for the manager William Kelly, though it is unclear which was which. It is also unclear which of the buildings was occupied by Robert Owen and his family from 1798 until 1808 when he moved to Braxfield House to accommodate his large family.
At some point before 1903 this house had been divided as it was described in the inventory of that date as 'Village House', and occupied as two separate dwelling houses, the ground floor having three rooms, with kitchen bathroom and washhouse in the basement, the upper house having five rooms with bathroom. The building was acquired by New Lanark Association in 1978 and later restored as a single property to house an exhibition relating to Robert Owen.
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 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.
Within World Heritage Site inscribed 2001.
List description updated 2010.