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 87950 42556
287950, 642556


1785-86; burnt and rebuilt 1788-89; reduced to 3 storeys 1945; restored to original height 1994-96; converted to Hotel use 1996-98. Imposing 5-storey, attic and basement (exposed to rear by falling ground) 17-bay, T-plan, gabled cotton mill with advanced 3-bay gable to centre with Venetian windows to outer bays and Diocletian window to gable apex. Sandstone rubble with stugged and droved ashlar dressings. Long and short quoins. Regular fenestration with tabbed ashlar margins.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: 2-leaf timber-boarded door to ground floor in depressed arch entrance. Semi-circular wheel arches to S elevation (now with timber-board doors to centre and stone infill to flanking arches); 2 small dormers to front and rear elevations.

12-pane glazing to front and 6-pane to rear in timber sash and case windows. Ashlar-coped skews. Grey slate roof.

INTERIOR: 2nd floor of jack-arch construction supported on inverted T-section beams.

Statement of Special Interest

Mill No. 1 is of prime importance in the New Lanark mill and village complex, the regular fenestration and cliff-like N & S elevations making a great visual impact from many viewpoints. It was the first mill to be constructed in New Lanark and it is thought that David Dale and his engineer William Kelly directed the substantial work of harnessing the water power and its transmission to the mill machinery. It was originally built in 1785 and spinning started in 1786. However, it burnt down on 9 October 1788 and was rebuilt the following year. In 1945 its top two floors were removed but they were carefully reinstated 1994-96 based on architect's drawings and photographic records of the original building.

With its projecting stair-tower with Venetian windows, Mill no 1 is based upon the pattern set by Robert Arkwright with Masson Mill at Matlock Bath, Derbyshire which was built in 1783. The mills at Catrine, Woodside, Cartside and Spinningdale (all demolished) were all similarly based upon the Masson Mill model. Earth closets were situated behind the small windows on the left return of the stair tower, and foremen's offices on the right return.

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. It 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 factory reform throughout the 19th century.

Within World Heritage Site, inscribed 2001.

List description updated 2010.



The Statistical Account of Scotland, Vol XV (circa

1795), pp22-23. 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (1857-58). Gourock Ropework Co MSS, Glasgow University Archives, Business Records. J Butt (Ed) Robert Owen: Prince of Cotton Spinners (1971). Ian Donnachie, Robert Owen: Owen of New Lanark and New Harmony (2000). Historic Scotland: Nomination of New Lanark for inclusion in the World Heritage List (2000). New Lanark World Heritage Site Management Plan, 2003-2008 (2003). Peter McGowan Associates and John Renshaw Architects, The Falls of Clyde: Feasibility Study for Conservation Works (2004). Photographic Archive at New Lanark Conservation Trust. Paxton & Shipway, Civil Engineering Heritage: Lowlands and Borders (2007), pp233-236.

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: 22/05/2019 07:49