1785 and later, repaired June 1994. Submerged stone and timber weir with later concrete repairs on River Clyde, channelling water through rock-cut tunnel at SE end of New Lanark village about 250 yards long and 12 feet in diameter under the hillside and into the lade, 22 feet wide and 6 feet deep. Segmental-arched opening with coped parapet above to the New Lanark exit.
VILLAGE LADE: rectangular in section with masonry walls; lower sections of walls rebuilt in engineering brick since 1980, copes renewed and railings to New Lanark design replaced. Sluices from weir (modern) and at Mechanics' Shop, No 3 Mill, site of No 4 Mill, and No 1 Mill, with tunnels to wheel and turbine sites.
Statement of Special Interest
The weir, tunnel and lade are one of the early group of water-control facilities linked to the pioneering New Lanark cotton mills that were the largest water-powered site in Britain for many years. They are therefore of considerable importance historically but also are a key visual component of the village and mill complex as, along with the river, they dictate the arrangement of many other buildings.
The 250 yard tunnel was cut to lead the water from the Clyde to the water wheels in each mill. This was the source of power throughout the period of operation of the mills - by the end of the 19th century water was driving a turbine to create electricity. Water wheels were removed in the 1930s.
New Lanark is an outstanding natural and cultural ensemble centred on a pioneering cotton-spinning village, surrounded by an incomparable natural and designed landscape including the most important woodland complex in Central Scotland. Built to exploit the water power offered by the Falls of Clyde, the mills were in operation from 1786 to 1968. From its conception New Lanark has aroused and capitalised upon, an international recognition born of its considerable architectural, technological and historic interest and the sublime majesty of the setting.
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 cottonspinning 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. The mill buildings sit on the natural terrace to the east of the River Clyde in this deeply incised, wooded river valley.
The survival of the complex is of outstanding importance for both many of its individual components but particularly in its entirety. Elements of sophisticated early town planning are evidenced in the orchestration of the various components in the village, from the mill weir, the crucially generous circulation spaces, gardens, tailored walks and viewing points realised from the start. The mill buildings survived with a certain diversification from 1881 to 1968 when the site assumed the role of a scrap metal yard from 1970. The New Lanark Conservation Trust was founded in 1975, advancing on early work with in the residential field by the New Lanark Association Ltd formed in 1963.
Within World Heritage Site inscribed 2001.
List description updated 2010.