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 88104 42432
288104, 642432


1817. 2 storey (3 to rear) and basement, 11 bay, rectangular-plan, piend-roofed, symmetrical, astylar classical block, originally School, now Education Centre with advanced, pedimented, central 3 bays. Squared, coursed brown sandstone with stugged and droved cream ashlar dressings; polished ashlar to door architrave. Band course above basement to front and side elevations; blocking course. Long and short quoins. Regular fenestration with raised, tabbed margins and projecting cills. Steps to timber panelled entrance door set in deep cavetto-moulded architrave with simple bracketed cornice; blind oval oculus to pediment with capping block above.

16-pane (top floor and basement) and 20-pane (1st floor) glazing in timber sash and case windows; some blind windows. Scottish slate roof. Cast-iron rain water goods with hoppers. Circular ties to E and W elevations. Plain railings to basement area.

INTERIOR: symmetrically planned interior. Cantilevered stone staircase (steps worn and now protected by glass) with simple iron plain iron balusters and hand rail. Musicians' galleries in E and W rooms at top floor supported on slim cast-iron clustered columns; similar cast-iron columns also found elsewhere. Some original wood panelling and plasterwork. Remnants of the original heating system with slots in walls for warm air to exhale.

Statement of Special Interest

The School building is of great importance historically as one component of the ideal industrial community begun by David Dale and developed by Robert Owen, and architecturally as a striking feature in the village with its simple classical facade. Together with the New Institution for the Formation of Character it served as part of Owen's complex system of education that provided facilities for all ages from babies to adults. 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 galleried rooms on the top level. The School taught a wide curriculum and had 12 teachers to 194 pupils in the elementary school and 7 teachers to 80 pupils in the infant school.

The School is also important because it still has the visible remains of the sophisticated heating system installed by Owen. From the firebox, the remains of which are still visible on the W elevation, two brick flues ran up through the building. Warm air exhaled from letter-box sized slots at various points. The system is similar to that used by William Strutt in his Derbyshire mills and later in Derbyshire General Infirmary and was presumably copied from there by Owen.

The building ceased to function as a school in 1884, when the new primary school was opened on Braxfield Road above New Lanark and was subsequently used by the cotton company for net-making and testing. It was converted to an educational centre in 2000.

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 ands 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, the School'.

List description updated 2010.



William Forrest, The County of Lanark from Actual Survey (1816). 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1857-58). John R Hume, The Industrial Archaeology of New Lanark in J Butt (Ed.) Robert Owen, Prince of Cotton Spinners (1971), p234-5. 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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Printed: 26/05/2019 18:55