Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
South Lanarkshire
Planning Authority
South Lanarkshire
NS 88077 42504
288077, 642504


1816; Engine House 1881. 3-storey (4 to rear), 10-bay, piend-roofed, classical former Institution for the Formation of Character with advanced, pediment-gabled 3-bay central section and advanced 2-bay former engine house with arched windows adjoining to N. Squared rubble with droved and stugged ashlar dressings. Tabbed quoin strips. Regular fenestration to front and rear of Institute with slightly raised tabbed margins and projecting cills; large, tabbed, round-arched windows to front and side (N) of former engine house.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: central Doric portico at ground floor of Institution with coupled columns; 2-leaf timber-boarded door. Oculus to apex of pediment. Engine House with stone steps to central 2-leaf timber panelled door in round-arched architrave with fanlight. Ramped late 20th century bridge abutting former loft door to S at upper level, linking with Mill No 3.

16-pane glazing (8-pane to upper storey) in timber sash and case windows to Institution; small-pane glazing in fixed timber windows to Engine House. Wallhead stack with ashlar cope to S elevation of Institution. Graded grey slates. Cast-iron rain water goods with hoppers.

INTERIOR: originally symmetrical plan at ground floor of Institution; at first floor larger room to right occupying two thirds of the area and smaller room at left. Original cobbled floor to basement; cast-iron columns. Hall to top floor with gallery running along 3 walls, supported on cast-iron columns. Interior of Engine House originally plastered, now exposed stone; timber-lined ceiling supported on wrought iron box girders.

Statement of Special Interest

Along with the School, the Institute is of great importance historically as one component of the ideal industrial community begun by David Dale and developed by Robert Owen. It is also an important element in the townscape because of its prominent position and well-preserved classical details.

With the School, the Institution served as part of Owen's complex system of education that provided facilities for all ages. More than any other building this was the platform on which he built his reputation and subsequent influence. It is built on the lines that Owen set out in the new 'Articles of Partnership' for a school based on the ideas of the educational innovator, Joseph Lancaster - for example in the large apartment at the upper level with galleries on three sides and a smaller one with single gallery. It originally had rooms for both educational and recreational purposes, including a library and a reading room and was the social centre of the village, having been used as a school, dance and concert hall, religious meeting place as well as subsequently the workers' canteen. The building had a sophisticated heating system: at the lower level hollow iron pillars carried heated air that went into the larger room above via perforated iron floor plates some of which are still in situ.

Originally the Institution had 11 bays, but one was lost when the Engine House was built in 1881, breaking the symmetry of the building. This was to enable the rope drives to meet the existing power system at the junctions of Mills 3 and 4.

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.

Previously listed as 'New Lanark, Institute For The Formation Of Character and Engine House'.

List description updated 2010.



William Forrest, The County of Lanark from Actual Survey (1816). 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1857). Historic Scotland, Nomination of New Lanark for inclusion in the World Heritage List, (2000).

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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