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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
South Lanarkshire
Planning Authority
South Lanarkshire
NS 87982 42532
287982, 642532


Circa 1789; link to Mill No 1 circa 1800-17; main building extended forwards (N) 1884-5. 5-storey and basement exposed by falling ground to S, 21-bay, rectangular-plan, flat-roofed block; gabled curved link to Mill 1, 3 bays to N and 8 to S. N elevation brick, elsewhere rubble with droved and stugged dressings. Dentilled eaves cornice and parapet to N elevation. Regular fenestration; segmental-arched windows to N with projecting cills; ashlar margins to S.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: central bay to N elevation with loading doors (now boarded up) at each floor above ground level; top-floor opening now glazed around hoist. 2 semi-circular openings with timber-boarded doors to link section to Mill No 1. Brick link to Mill No 3 stepped back at far left. S (river) elevation with semi-circular wheel arch, now with 2-leaf timber-boarded door.

Predominantly 9-pane glazing to N elevation and 6-pane to S in timber framed windows with inward-tilting hoppers. Grey slates to link block to Mill 1.

INTERIOR: brick jack-arch construction supported on inverted T-section beaming and cast-iron columns. Tiled floors.

Statement of Special Interest

The monumental continuous wall of building formed by Mill No 1, the linking block and Mill No 2 are of prime importance in the New Lanark mill and village complex and make an impressive composition from many angles but particularly from the river side.

The extension to the front of Mill No 2 is of considerable historic interest. It was built in 1884-5 by Henry Birkmyre, owner of the Gourock Rope Company, who had bought the New Lanark mills in 1881 as a speculation. The extension is the main investment made by Birkmyre whilst running his Lanark Spinning Company in New Lanark. It was to accommodate ring frames using a single arch structural system. Birkmyre diversified the products the mills to produce woven fabric as well as spun cotton. Products to emerge included deck chair covers, canvas for a wide range of military uses, and even the material for the Big Top of Bertram Mills Circus. By the late 1880s the Gourock Rope Company had offices throughout Britain and S America, agents in Europe and Australia and mills in India and South Africa. The New Lanark buildings are among the last remaining upstanding factories to have been operated by the Gourock Ropework Company. The company left New Lanark in 1962.

The heating system in Mill No 2 was the invention of William Kelly, the Lanark clockmaker who, in conjunction with David Dale, experimented with different types of heating for the mills and other public buildings in New Lanark. The heating in Mill 2 is a refinement of the system in Mill No 1. Flue from stoves in the walls at ground level lead upwards through a succession of compartments built into the thickness of the wall and separated by iron plates. Each compartment was warmed by a flue and the flow of hot air controlled by valves.

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 social developments such as 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). 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. R Paxton and J Shipway, Civil Engineering Heritage - Lowlands and Borders (2007), pp 233-236.

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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to NEW LANARK, MILL NO 2

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 19/05/2019 18:21