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 88009 42516
288009, 642516


1826-33. 6-storey, 15-bay, rectangular-plan, astylar classical, piend-roofed block with 5-storey, 3-bay link to former Mill No 4 with separate piended roof (see Notes). Symmetrical main block with advanced central gable-pedimented 3 bays, oval oculus and chimney at apex; advanced single outer bays. 3-bay link to outer left with central doorway. Sandstone rubble with droved and stugged ashlar dressings. Band course to pediment; eaves course and blocking course to advanced outer bays. Long and short quoins. Regular fenestration with tabbed ashlar margins; small dormers to front and rear of main block. Large opening to left at first floor level; covered late 20th century ramp above from Institute to 1st bay of 3rd floor

16-pane and 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Coped stack. Grey slates.

INTERIOR: some surviving 19th century details. Fireproof construction of brick arches between cast-iron beams carried on cast-iron columns. Basement floor with black and red floors tiles. Unique cast- and wrought-iron roof frame at E end in link section. Attic floored with cast-iron plates. 1920s turbine in basement.

Statement of Special Interest

Mill 3 is the best preserved of the mills in New Lanark, and like the others is of outstanding importance both historically and architecturally, its main visual effect being gained from its sheer scale, simple Classical style and the regularity of its fenestration. It is an outstanding example of early 19th century industrial architecture and the third oldest example of fireproof construction in Scotland.

Mill No 3 was built circa 1790-92 by David Dale, burnt down in 1819 and was rebuilt circa 1826-33 by Robert Owen as a totally fireproof iron-framed mill. The 3-bay extension between Mills 3 and 4 is of a construction now virtually unique in Scotland. It has iron plate floors laid on a grid of short cast-iron joists and a roof of iron purlins. Because the roof is entirely constructed of iron the slates are tied on with wire. The prime purpose of this construction was to make it act as a firebreak between the mills once the decision had been made to link them.

Mill No 3 was originally the 'Jennie House' for both common and lightly powered self-acting spinning jennies designed to William Kelly's patent. Kelly was the inventive Lanark clock-maker who, with David Dale, developed various machines that were used in New Lanark such as the different heating and ventilation systems used in the mill buildings. The heating system used in Mill 3 was similar to that in Mill 2 but instead of the hot air being passed from a stove at the lower level up through compartments built into the thickness of the wall and separated by thin iron plates, it passed in this case through external chambers built into the gables.

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. First 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). Tom Swailes with Historic Scotland, Survey of ironwork, (1998). 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). NMRS Survey Drawing, Ref LAD 22/3 (SC 524002). 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

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). 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 only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 26/03/2019 14:14