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.