New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

Behind the scenes at New Lanark

28/02/17 Behind the scenes at New Lanark

New ScotlandVR App goes 360° !

New ScotlandVR App goes 360° !

We are delighted to be one of Scotland’s visitor attractions included in the brand new ScotlandVR app from VisitScotland!

ScotlandVR app is a virtual reality travel experience that allows the consumer, wherever they are in the world, to be immersed in Scotland’s remarkable attractions through stunning 360° video & photographs. Experience Scotland like never before and enjoy fun interactive features, such as ‘Night Mode’, where you can witness the spectacular Northern Lights illuminate the sky above your head. The whole environment can be experienced in Stereoscopic 3D when used with a Google Cardboard virtual reality headset, or in 360° view via phone mode. It is available for all Android and Apple users to download for free on Google Play and Apple Store worldwide.

3D attraction models
Circle around beautiful 3D models in an interactive virtual glen.

360 tours
Take tours of over 25 iconic Scottish attractions.

Fun things to do
Meet some of Scotland’s wildlife and try out ‘Night mode’ to see the Northern Lights.

Click here to download the app on the App Store or Google Play

Melissa – Marketing and PR Officer

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06/07/16 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , New Lanark Search Room , New Lanark World Heritage Site # , , , , , ,

Search Room Spotlight: Keys from New Lanark

Search Room Spotlight: Keys from New Lanark

There are numerous keys in our collection that were found during the restoration of New Lanark that began in the late 1970s. The photo above depicts a selection of keys that originally belonged to former residents of the village.

At its peak in 1818, there were 2,500 employees at New Lanark. The majority of people who worked in the Mills, lived in the early tenement blocks built by New Lanark’s founder, David Dale, to accommodate his workers. These buildings, including Braxfield Row, Long Row, Double Row, Wee Row, Nursery Row, Caithness Row, Mantila Row & New Buildings provided housing for around 200 families. Each family had one room with a window – excellent conditions for the period!. A typical tenement room had two “set in” beds on the wall opposite the fireplace. These consisted of a sturdy wooden framework built into the wall and a mattress which was a bag made of ticking and stuffed with chaff or straw. To accommodate larger families, a “hurlie bed” was used which was a simple cot-like bed on wheels that was stored under the “set in” bed. Each of the beds were shared by three or more family members as most tenements housed entire families that ranged from 8 to 10 members.

Traditional Housing at New Lanark

Traditional Housing at New Lanark

As the population of New Lanark declined over time, so the layout of the houses changed. Families would take over two rooms, sometimes even three, doors would be blocked up, new ones opened and most importantly, the house numbers would change with these alterations. Hence trying to match a key to a house is not as easy a task as it may seem!

Following a 40+ year restoration programme, all but one of the tenement blocks have now been restored (an the restoration of the last is underway).Today, there are 45 tenancies and 20 owner-occupied houses at New Lanark with a population of roughly 150-200 people who live here permanently. Mantila Row was unfortunately demolished during the restoration period as the building was unsafe but the exteriors of the other buildings remain pretty much unchanged. The keys however have got much smaller!



The Story of New Lanark, World Heritage Site

Living in New Lanark, New Lanark Conversation Trust

Historic New Lanark, Ian Donnachie & George Hewitt


Holly – New Lanark Archive Intern

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24/06/16 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , New Lanark Search Room # , , , , ,

Search Room Spotlight – Clogs

Search Room Spotlight – Clogs

Since the New Lanark Conservation Trust was formed in 1974 we have acquired a number of objects either found during the restoration process or graciously donated by the public. Initially, we had no intention of creating a collection but have now managed to acquire a large collection of artefacts, books, archival documents, photographs, architectural drawings, and much more which are now all housed in the New Lanark Search Room. Each week, we will give you an up close and personal look at a featured item from our collection.

This week’s Search Room Spotlight: Pair of Lanchasire-style clogs

Pair of Lanchasire-style clogs

Pair of Lanchasire-style clogs

The item pictured is one of three pairs of wooden clogs that were donated to New Lanark. The boots are incredibly heavy and durable, made of leather with wooden soles and metal plates on the bottom as well as in the toe. These wooden clogs are similar to the 19th century Lanchasire style clogs that originated in Lanchasire, England. The Industrial Revolution gave rise to the popularity of clogs being used by workers in the mills, mines, and factories as they required strong, cheap footwear that was easy to repair. Further research indicates that many weavers adopted the wooden clogs while working in the mills which leads us to believe that these wooden clogs could have very well been used by the weavers at New Lanark during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Look out for next week’s Search Room Spotlight! You can find out more about the New Lanark Search Room on the New Lanark website.

Research links:

Holly – New Lanark Archive Intern 

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25/05/16 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , New Lanark Ice Cream # , , ,

New home for New Lanark Ice Cream!

New home for New Lanark Ice Cream!

(pictured, Andy Park and Ronnie North of the New Lanark Ice Cream Team)

As of this week New Lanark Ice Cream has a new home! We have moved our Ice Cream factory from the Caldwellside Industrial Estate in Lanark, down into the village of New Lanark. The production of our delicious ice cream will now be taking place in the Mechanics’ Workshop building.

The 3 storey Mechanics’ Workshop is part of a complex of buildings at the far end of the village that were constructed by Robert Owen to help improve efficiency of production in the Mills. The building originally housed a team of skilled tradesmen who built and repaired the machinery and waterwheels, including engineers, wheelwrights, iron and brass founders, wood-turners and blacksmiths- the ‘mechanics’ on whom the mills depended. The complex was powered by a waterwheel until 1929 when a turbine was installed and it is one of the oldest surviving engineering and foundry complexes in Scotland.

Mechanics' Workshop prior to restoration

This photo shows the Mechanics’ Workshop prior to restoration by New Lanark Trust.

New Lanark Ice Cream is currently distributed to hotels & restaurants in Glasgow and throughout the central belt. It is also enjoyed by thousands of visitors annually who visit New Lanark, with the ice cream being sold in the Visitor Centre, Mill Café, Village Store, Wee Row Hostel and served in the New Lanark Mill Hotel.

New Lanark Ice Cream picked up two prestigious awards at the 175th Royal Highland Show which took place from 18-21 June 2015 in Ingliston, Edinburgh. Fighting off competition from some of the top ice cream producers across Scotland, New Lanark Ice Cream’s Simply Vanilla flavour was awarded the top accolade of ‘Overall Champion Ice Cream’. The same ice cream was also awarded ‘Gold’ in the Vanilla Flavour Class and Jammy Dodger also won Bronze in the Flavour Class.

All profits from New Lanark Ice Cream are returned to New Lanark Trust, an independent Scottish charity dedicated to the restoration and development of New Lanark World Heritage Site.

The Ice Cream factory isn’t open to the public (at the moment!) but here are some sneak peek insider photos for our readers…

New Lanark Ice Cream

New Lanark Ice Cream

New Lanark Ice Cream

New Lanark Ice Cream

New Lanark Ice Cream

New Lanark Ice Cream


New Lanark Ice Cream

New Lanark Ice Cream awards

You can visit our website to find out more about enjoying a trip to New Lanark, and sampling our delicious Ice Cream!

Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

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13/05/16 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , Double Row Restoration Project # , , ,

Hard Hat Tour of Double Row Restoration Project

Hard Hat Tour of Double Row Restoration Project

Yesterday we donned our hard hats and took part in a guided tour of the Double Row Restoration works in the village. With blue skies and plenty of sunshine we couldn’t have asked for a better day to be climbing the scaffolding!

New Lanark Trust has pioneered heritage-led regeneration and since its formation in 1974 has transformed a derelict site into one of World Heritage status. The last block of former millworkers’ housing to be restored is Double Row, a vacant and dilapidated terrace of eight four and five storey properties on Scotland’s Buildings At Risk Register. This important project will ensure the survival of this A-listed building of international architectural and historical significance by restoring it as residential accommodation.

A range of heritage-based community activities will be delivered in parallel to the construction works. There will be a strong emphasis on Traditional Building Skills training through a series of talks, demonstrations and special exhibition. Other events include ‘house history’ workshops, project discovery days, including hard-hat tours of the restoration process and ‘back in time day’, where visitors will explore life in the 18th century cotton mill village.

Here’s a look at some of the photos we took on yesterday’s Hard Hat Tour…


A beautiful day in New Lanark Village


Arriving at the Double Row Restoration building site


Our first views at the top of the scaffolding – New Lanark Mill Hotel!


An up close look at the slate work and chimney stacks


Beautiful views of the River Clyde


Panorama shot!


Long Row at New Lanark











Learning about Stonemasonry

You can find out more about the Double Row Restoration Project on our website or by signing up to our monthly e-newsletter.

Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

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11/05/16 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , Latest News at New Lanark

New Lanark and Nicholas I of Russia…

New Lanark and Nicholas I of Russia…

200 years on, GYRE in Moffat are celebrating the anniversary of Nicholas I’s visit to Scotland in 1816.

Nicholas I (6 July 1796 – 2 March 1855) was Emperor of Russia from 1825 until 1855 and he was known as one of the most reactionary of the Russian monarchs. His brother Alexander I was Emperor of Russia from 1801 to 1825.

The future emperor’s first guardian and instructress was a Scottish nurse, Miss Jane Lyon, who stayed with Nicholas constantly during the first seven years of his life. From Miss Lyon he learned many things including “the Russian alphabet, his first Russian prayers, and his hatred of the Poles”. [i]

To complete his education, Grand Duke Nicholas was sent on two educational voyages: a tour of Russia from May to September 1816 and a tour of Great Britain from November 1816 to January 1817.  While he was on his way to Britain Nicholas visited Berlin where he met his future wife Louisa Charlotte Wilhelmina, eldest daughter of the King of Prussia. Nicholas and Louisa were married at St. Petersburgh in July 1817.

[i]     Nicholas I and Official Nationality in Russia: 1825-1855. Nicholas Valentine Riasanovsky (University of California Press, 1974)


On 27 December 1816 Nicholas 1 visited New Lanark…

The New Lanark Village Instrumental Band played for Nicholas and his retinue. Although the Grand Duke was generally favourably impressed with Owen’s plans for creating model communities it seems that the music was considered by his Highness to be indifferent in quality. [i]

Robert gave the Grand Duke Mrs. Owen’s silver dessert set as a memento of his visit and the rest of Robert’s family were upset at his generosity towards such a hugely wealthy man. [ii] New Picture

The writings of Malthus was a hot topic at the time and Robert Owen relates that in a two hour conversation with the Grand Duke, before he left, he said: “As your country is over-peopled, I will take you and two millions of population with you, all in similar manufacturing communities”. Robert politely declined the offer. [iii]

One of Robert Owen’s biographers notes that “the date of the visit was December 26. The Grand Duke left on the following day for Moffat”. This date is contrary to other, contemporary, sources and we should assume that the correct date for the visit to New Lanark was 27th December. [iv]


[i]     A Quest for Harmony: The Role of Music in Robert Owen’s New Lanark Community. Lorna Davidson. Utopian Studies, Volume 21, Number 2, (Penn State University Press 2010)

[ii]    Robert Owen: Social Idealist. Rowland Hill Harvey. (University of California, 1949)

[iii]   The life of Robert Owen, philanthropist and social reformer, an appreciation. R. E. Davies (Robert Sutton, Southwark, 1907)

[iv]   Robert Owen: a Biography. Frank Podmore (Appleton, New York, 1907)


Coincidentally, 1816 is also the 200th birthday or Bicentenary of New Lanark’s Institute for the Formation of Character. To celebrate we are hosting a range of Bicentenary themed activities throughout the year. Visit our website to find out more!

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23/03/15 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , Events at New Lanark # , , , , , ,

Laughs and Landscapes Heritage Media Project

Laughs and Landscapes Heritage Media Project

Ahead of the ‘Laughs and Landscapes’ exhibition opening at New Lanark on 31 March, we were delighted to welcome Mark Melville from Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire to write a guest blog to introduce the project…

“They say time flies when you’re having fun and this might explain were the last two years have gone on the Laughs and Landscapes heritage media project.

The project set out nearly two years ago to engage unemployed young people with their local heritage by using the creative industries and development of media skills as a tool for this, we had volunteers participating in all kinds of creative workshops and doing everything from going on photography expeditions, making documentary films of local heritage locations and delivering a fantastic digital transfer service in the community offering to transfer community cine-films and old 35mm photographic slides to digital formats.


Laughs and Landscapes

The work that was done all formed part of our Laughs and Landscapes touring exhibition showcasing the volunteer’s hard work and achievements.

The laughs and landscapes project really has been an education for the young people involved, getting the opportunity to shadow and learn from media industry practitioners and participating on projects that covered the stories of places like New Lanark, David Livingston, the Coal-burn miners and even a World War 1 battalion from Lanark and Carluke to name a few of the historical projects.

In terms of successes along the way there has been some great ones! a Local MSP put forward a motion in the Scottish Parliament for our Laughs and Landscapes project which was backed by several more MSP’s, we showcased an excellent project documentary film at the South Lanarkshire Youth Film Festival last year, we digitized and enhanced long lost 100 year old glass slides found in an attic that documented a world war 1 battalion from Lanark and Carluke and last but not least many of our participants have gone on to develop new found confidence and aptitude’s and found work and college opportunities thanks to the experiences they have gained on the project and work portfolios.

The touring Exhibitions have been well received as well with fantastic comments being left in the book from far flung places such as China, Palestine and Australia.

All in all I feel the project has been a brilliant success having seen first-hand how it has built confidence and created positive changes in the young people involved in the project, it has allowed them to celebrate and showcase their talents and successes and in turn they have developed a wealth of knowledge with regards to local history and learned about things they would never have thought about researching beforehand.
The next Laughs and Landscapes project exhibition is at New Lanark starting on 31 March 2015 – So why not come along and see for yourself the great work being done.”


Mark Melville, Voluntary Action South Lanarkshire – Guest Blogger


Entry to the exhibition is free, and runs until Monday 27th April 2015 in the New Lanark River Room.

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12/03/15 Behind the scenes at New Lanark # , , , ,

How do you make New Lanark Ice Cream?

How do you make New Lanark Ice Cream?

Did you know that New Lanark make our own Ice Cream? Our Award Winning Dairy Ice Cream is made using fresh milk to a traditional recipe and is available in a range of delicious flavours, from Vanilla to Jammy Dodger!

New Lanark Ice Cream Ltd is owned by the New Lanark Trust, so whenever you buy a cone or tub of our Ice Cream you’re contributing to the restoration and development of the historic village within New Lanark World Heritage Site.

Andy, Ronnie (photographed below) and Jim from the New Lanark Ice Cream Team recently attended the Ice Cream Expo 2015 in Harrogate.

We’re delighted to say that our ‘Vanilla’ flavour was awarded a Diploma of Merit in the Dairy Ice Cream, artisan class. Our ‘Vanilla Pod’ and ‘Jaffa cake’ flavours gained a Diploma in the Open and Open flavour classes respectively. Congratulations to the team!

New Lanark Ice Cream Team - Andy and Ronnie

After our success at Harrogate, we thought this would be the perfect chance to visit the New Lanark Ice Cream factory to find out how our delicious Ice Cream is made…


Step 1. All the secret ingredients are mixed together in a machine called the ‘Pasteuriser’. This huge machine can hold up to 220 litres at a time, and cooks the mixture in the temperature controlled enviroment over a period of up to 24 hours.


Step 2. Next comes the ‘Batch Freezer’, the mixed up liquid from the pasturiser is poured into the Batch Freezer in batches of 10 litres at a time. At this point special flavourings and ingredients can be added.

New Lanark Ice Cream being poured into the Batch Freezer


Step 3. The machine then takes 10 minutes to freeze each batch into a frozen consistency that isn’t solid, but still manageable allowing it to be poured into tubs like you can see below…


Step 4. Depending on the flavour of Ice Cream being made, solid ingredients are mixed in at this point using a spatula. Today we’re making Jammy Dodger Ice Cream so the ‘jammy’ flavour and biscuit pieces are mixed in gradually. 

New Lanark Ice Cream 

Step 5. The tubs are then transported to the Blast Chiller which freezes the Ice Cream quickly at a temperature of around -22 degrees!

Step 6. TASTE! What can we say – freshly made Ice Cream has to be the next best thing since sliced bread. New Lanark Ice Cream isn’t aerated so the consistency is very thick and creamy. 


New Lanark Ice Cream is available to buy at our Ice Cream Parlour in the Mill Café, is sold in a number of local farm shops and is served in hotels & restaurants across the country. We make over 60 flavours of Ice Cream and 20 flavours of sorbets. If you have a special requirement or taste we can also do bespoke flavours! Email our Ice Cream chef/production on [email protected] to find out more. 

 New Lanark Ice Cream

Anyone for a cone?

Melissa – Marketing and PR Officer

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09/12/14 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , Events at New Lanark # , , , ,

Meet our pantomime cast!

Meet our pantomime cast!

New Lanark are delighted to welcome back Arkeen Theatre Company to produce the wonderful pantomime for our Christmas Experience 2014. This year’s fun-filled show ‘Maw McLeod’s Festive Treat’ is showing three times a day every weekend (12.15pm, 2pm & 3.30pm) until Sunday 21st December, and again on Christmas Eve!

Read on to find out more about Arkeen and meet the cast of the show…

Arkeen Theatre Company was established in 1997 and have been writing and producing the pantomime in New Lanark for 15 years.  With stories including The Enchanted Forest, Miss Molly’s Curiosity Shop and Maw McLeod’s Festive Treat this year; our original pantomimes include traditional characters, a few from the future and the past;  within quality, fun and entertaining productions. Arkeen also have the privilege of delivering their original script Is This Me? to S1 in South Lanarkshire secondary schools commissioned by SLC .  This production highlights the dangers of Alcohol and Drug abuse in a dynamic way raising awareness for young people at secondary school level. They have also written and delivered the highly acclaimed SLC Artsnet Workshops and Production Safe & Sound for 8 years.   This project raises Child Protection issues for  P5-7. The dynamic Firework Safety Production Toast by John McClelland has also been a huge hit with audiences from Secondary Schools across SLC; with Arkeen producing 6 successful tours. New Lanark is no doubt the most picturesque backdrop for Arkeen’s productions with the company also performing their ever-popular Murder Mystery events for the New Lanark Mill Hotel and The Victorian Christmas Workshops in the School for Children. Arkeen hope you enjoy this year’s Panto treat, with plenty of booing hissing, laughing, singing and dancing.

Director and writer – Joanne Tulips

Musical Director – Raymond Tulips


james James Muldoon – Maw McLeod
James began his training at Jazzart Uk and then continued on to London and graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.  Since graduating, James has performed in various musicals and was one of 4 lead singers, onboard the Queen Mary 2, ocean liner. This is James 5th year working with Arkeen Theatre Company and his 5th Panto season at New Lanark. As well as panto he has performed Arkeen’s Victorian Christmas in New Lanark School House, and Is This Me? touring South Lanarkshire secondary schools highlighting the effect of alcohol misuse. James is delighted to be back in pantoland at New Lanark and to be first male Dame! Maw McLeod is certainly alive and kicking!


  288759  Katy-Louise Pritchett – Baroness Whinge
Katy-Louise trained in Acting and Performance and then went on to work as an actor, entertainer and workshop leader.  She is delighted to be back for her 5th Christmas season working for Arkeen Theatre Company in the New Lanark pantomime and A Victorian Christmas.  It is Katy-Louise’s’ 10th year performing in pantomime and her favourite time of year.  Her previous work has included performing in touring with small scale productions with other Scottish theatre companies and producing her own one-woman sing-along show.  Katy-Louise is based in Inverness and runs her own Entertainment business “Trapeze Entertainment” specialising in workshops and children’s entertainment.  She loves her job as there is never a dull moment!


katy Fiona Harris – Kate Whinge
Fiona began her training in the arts at a young age. After her early education, Fiona spent 3 years at Motherwell College where she graduated with a BA Hon(s) in Musical Theatre in 2013. Since graduating, Fiona has been fortunate enough to be working in a profession in which she has a passion for. Theatre credits include: Empress in Aladdin at Bathgate Regal. Amy/Sarah in ‘Is This Me’ with Arkeen Theatre Company. Fiona is thrilled to be working with Arkeen for the second time and is looking forward to the remainder of her performances as Kate at the New Lanark Panto.


 Robert Aitken – Jock McLeod
Robert graduated in 2012 from Motherwell College where he gained a First Class B.A Honours in Acting. Robert has been working professionally for two years and has portrayed many characters throughout his career from Dracula in Dracula by Liz Lochhead to the Baron in Jack in the Beanstalk. Other credits include: Soldier in Wounds to the Face (Howard Barker), Joey in Road (Jim Cartwright) and Jamie in Is this me? (Arkeen Theatre Company). He has performed all over the country, including the Criterion Theatre in London’s West End, however he is thrilled to be working with Arkeen once  Theatre Company again. This is Robert’s second time working with Arkeen and was ecstatic to land a role in the School for Children’s Victorian Christmas and as the hero, Jock, in Maw McLeod’s Festive Treat.   Find out more about New Lanark’s Christmas Experience.


Melissa – New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer


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27/11/14 Behind the scenes at New Lanark , Events at New Lanark # , , , ,

Christmas is coming to New Lanark!

Christmas is coming to New Lanark!

New Lanark World Heritage Site is gearing up for a fantastic festive season with this year’s Christmas Experience. Opening on Saturday 29th November, and taking place every weekend until Sunday 21st December, plus Christmas Eve, New Lanark’s Christmas Experience is a great opportunity for a festive day out the whole family can enjoy…and right on Lanark’s doorstep!

We caught up with the New Lanark Christmas Elves to see how they were getting on transforming the site before the opening weekend…

“Santa gave us some time off from the toy factory so we could come down to New Lanark and help turn the site into a winter wonderland. We’ve been very busy decorating, and we can’t wait to see the children’s faces when they arrive at the new-look Christmas Experience 2014!”

Take a look at some of their fantastic work so far!

Painting dolls in the Toy Kingdom Grotto

Getting crafty to create toys for Santa’s ‘Toy Kingdom’ Grotto

Art on the walls in Santa's 'Toy Kingdom' Grotto

This is an art attack! Lots of bright colours going on the walls in Santa’s ‘Toy Kingdom’ Grotto

Christmas trees and critters in the Enchanted Woodland

Christmas trees and critters in the Enchanted Woodland

Say hello to New Lanark's newest resident in the Frozen Falls!

Say hello to New Lanark’s newest resident in the Frozen Falls!

Looks good enough to eat...Santa's Grotto in the 'Toy Kingdom'

Looks good enough to eat…Building work is almost finished on Santa’s Grotto in the ‘Toy Kingdom’'s looking frosty in the Snow Tunnel!

Brrrrrrr….it’s starting to look frosty in the Snow Tunnel!

Our New Lanark Christmas Elves have been very busy!

Our New Lanark Christmas Elves have been very busy indeed!

We can’t wait to welcome lots of families to the New Lanark Christmas Experience so they can enjoy the finished results! Tickets are available to book now.

Join the event on our Facebook page.

New Lanark Marketing and PR Officer

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New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On our blog you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest news, events, stories and general 'goings-on' from New Lanark World Heritage Site.

We are always looking for guest bloggers to become involved with the blog. If you are interested in writing for us, please get in touch.

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