New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

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18/04/17 Latest News at New Lanark # , , , ,

New Bucket List Challenge Launched on World Heritage Day

New Bucket List Challenge Launched on World Heritage Day

Scotland’s six most iconic sites celebrated as part of the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology

The Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Giza and Machu Picchu are at the top of many traveller’s lists – but did you know that Scotland has six World Heritage Sites of its very own? To help bring this “wanderlust” closer to home, Dig It! 2017 has launched a new Bucket List starring these six marvels of ingenuity and imagination.

According to the United Nations, these places have special importance for everyone. They represent unique (or the most significant or best) examples of the world’s cultural heritage. Scotland’s sites cover over 5,000 years of history and range from a mysterious group of Neolithic monuments in Orkney to a picturesque cotton mill village in Lanark.

The challenge was issued as part of the Scotland in Six series of events running on World Heritage Day – Tuesday 18 April 2017. Coordinated by Dig It! 2017 and supported by EventScotland, the six events ranged from a 1:1 scale Minecraft recreation of St Kilda to a Battle of the Bands, which pitted New Town against Old Town with Georgian-era musicians and medieval minstrels performing across Edinburgh.


Culture and Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop, said:

“Scotland’s six iconic World Heritage Sites are magnificent. They are of international significance and attract thousands of visitors every year.

“This challenge, part of Dig It! 2017, will encourage tourists from home and abroad to discover some of Scotland’s finest attractions.

“History and heritage is a key driver for visits to Scotland, which is why in 2017 we are celebrating the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”


Dr Rebecca Jones, Head of the Archaeology and World Heritage Team at Historic Environment Scotland, said:

“A lot of bucket list challenges are long and unwieldy and arguably pretty difficult to achieve, but the great thing about putting Scotland’s six World Heritage sites on your bucket list is that experiencing them all is perfectly possible – and indeed advisable!

Each of these iconic sites has something different to offer, from the stunning prehistoric monuments of ancient Orkney to the meticulously built 2,000 year old Roman frontier of the Antonine Wall; from the social impact of New Lanark, one of the largest industrial sites in the world, to the Forth Bridge, an internationally renowned feat of engineering. Ticking off the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh’s iconic Old and New Towns before braving the journey across the sea to the now-uninhabited island beauty of St Kilda is enough to take your breath away.

We hope Dig It! 2017’s Bucket List will encourage more people than ever before to travel to Scotland’s incredible World Heritage Sites in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”


Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

“With over one third of visitors drawn to Scotland for its history and culture, the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 is an exciting opportunity to relive Scotland’s fascinating past.

“Scotland’s six World Heritage Sites are truly iconic attractions, drawing thousands of visitors from around the globe every year. 

“We are sure this Bucket List challenge, and the other fantastic events planned to celebrate World Heritage Day, will encourage even more visitors to experience the wonders of our World Heritage Sites.”


The Bucket List was created by Dig It! 2017 with support from Historic Environment Scotland and EventScotland. The free list is now available on the Dig It! 2017 website.

To explore the Bucket List and learn more about Scotland’s six sites, visit

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19/12/16 Latest News at New Lanark # , , , ,

Top 10 Moments at New Lanark 2016

Top 10 Moments at New Lanark 2016

It’s been a busy year again for us here at New Lanark with lots of memorable moments. As we prepare to say ‘Goodbye’ to 2016 and ‘Hello’ to 2017 we’ve managed to pull together a list of our Top 10 Moments, which is no mean feat considering how much exciting activity has been going on! Before we get onto the list we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has visited New Lanark, purchased our wool & ice cream, stayed in our Hotel, attended an event or supported us in any other way – it’s all thanks to you that the New Lanark Trust can continue to care for, and develop our historic village as a living and working community, and one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions.

Top 10 2016 Moments at New Lanark…

1. Bicentenary Celebrations

2016 marked the Bicentenary of the Institute for the Formation of Character building at New Lanark. Officially opened by Robert Owen on 1st January 1816, the Institute for the Formation of Character building at New Lanark was built for Learning and Leisure and many of the Millworkers who lived at New Lanark & within the surrounding area enjoyed leisure activities within this building such as dancing, games and musical concerts.

New Lanark Institute Bicentenary


2. Double Row Restoration Project gets started!

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 was Double Row, a vacant and dilapidated terrace of eight four and five storey properties on Scotland’s Buildings At Risk Register. Restoration works began in March 2016, and an exiting programme of public heritage activities also kicked off then including Hard Hat Tours and Traditional Building Skills Workshops. As of December 2016 the properties are now on sale! You can find out more on the Rettie & Co website. 

View of New Lanark from Double Row roof


3. The Mill Shop knits in public

On 18th June 2016 the Mill Shop took part in Worldwide Knit in Public day for the first time! Since the the shop has hosted a monthly ‘Knitting Day’ offering fantastic deals on our beautiful New Lanark wool & textiles products – and a range of free textile workshops including dry felting! You can now ‘like’ the Mill Shop on Facebook for special offers, new product launches and competitions. 

New Lanark Knit in Public Day


4. Visit from a special Heilan Coo…

On that day we also had a very special visit from Morag – one of  Visit Scotland Heilan Coo vans! The themed vans have been roaming the country throughout 2016 as part of Visit Scotland’s ‘cattle drive’ to let as many people across Scotland know about all of the fantastic tourist destinations and days out on their doorstep. Did you know 2017 is Visit Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology? You can find out more here!

VisitScotland heilan coo visit to New Lanark


5. New Lanark Ice Cream scoops more awards!

Hot on the heels of winning ‘Overall Champion Ice Cream’ at the 2015 Royal Highland Show, at 2016’s event in June New Lanark Ice Cream picked up three more awards to add to its growing collection! Bronze medals were awarded to our Simply Vanilla, Candied Orange and Raspberry Panna Cotta flavours. You can purchase our delicious New Lanark Ice Cream in our Mill Café or you can also contact us if you’d be interested in wholesale opportunities. 

New Lanark Ice Cream bronze medal award


6. New Lanark goes back in time for a day!

On Sunday 17th July we went ‘Back in Time’ for a day to let visitors explore what it would have been like to live in the village in the 1820’s. We had traditional food, costume, games, storytelling, music, dancing, crafts and even a visit from a Falconry display and Robert Owen himself! In 2017 we’ll be going back in time to the 1890’s on 27th August. Make sure you’re signed up to our e-newsletter to be first to hear about it!

Back in Time Day at New Lanark


7. Ready, set, action….Antiques Roadshow filming!

After months of planning the day was finally here – on 28th July the BBC Antiques Roadshow pressed ‘record’ and began a day of filming an episode of the famous programme at New Lanark! Over 2,200 visitors came down into the village either with their heirlooms to be valued, or just for a day out to see what goes on behind the cameras. Two hour-long episodes will be shown in Spring 2017 so keep an eye out on your TV Guide!

Antiques Roadshow at New Lanark


8. LEGO lovers rejoice, New Lanark announced as Brick City venue

In September we were delighted to announce that New Lanark had been chosen as a venue for the Brick City exhibition – giving visitors the chance to see the world in LEGO® Bricks! 2017 marks the Visit Scotland Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology making it the perfect time for New Lanark to host Brick City which includes a variety of historical icons like the Mona Lisa and landmarks including the Colosseum in Rome, Arc De Triomphe in Paris and Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Tickets for the exhibition will be on sale very soon, with details available at

Brick City LEGO exhibition at New Lanark

9. Rising Star at New Lanark

At the Association of Scottish Visitor Attraction (ASVA)’s Annual Conference in November, Melissa Reilly – New Lanark’s Marketing and PR Officer – was chosen as the winner of the prestigious ‘Rising Star’ Award which is given to an individual under 30 working in Scotland’s tourism sector who has made a significant contribution to their organisation and who is committed to personal development. You can find out more about ASVA here.

Melissa Reilly ASVA Rising Star


10. New Lanark projects Shining Lives for #HHA2017

We had another fantastic announcement to round off the year! On 7 December it was announced that New Lanark would be hosting an event – Shining Lives –  as part of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Signature Events Fund. Shining Lives will be a spectacular sound and light projection event in New Lanark World Heritage Site. With the stunning 230 year old buildings acting as the display surface, historic images & video footage from New Lanark and the surrounding area will be brought to life on a grand scale, augmented by a soundtrack, lighting and living history which echo the life of the mills and the workers. Through this innovative event, the tangible and intangible heritage of New Lanark will be combined to capture imaginations and provide a unique interpretation of this famous site. Further details will be available soon, so we’d encourage you to sign up for email updates if you’re interested in hearing more about Shining Lives as details become available.

Hear of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

Photo credit VisitScotland


Well, as you can see it’s been quite a year for us down at New Lanark with lots of memorable moments! Again, we’d like to thank all of our visitors for your continued support. We’ll hopefully see you again soon for another great year in 2017! You can sign up here for our monthly e-newsletter to be first to hear about our latest news, offers and events. 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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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21/03/16 Latest News at New Lanark # , , , , , , ,

House History Project at New Lanark needs you!

House History Project at New Lanark needs you!

New Lanark Trust has launched a House History project to discover more about the lives of the people who used to live and work in the historic village.

New Lanark Trust is placing a call out for people with family connections to anyone who used to live and/or work at New Lanark, specifically with a focus on anyone who used to live in the Double Row or Water Row tenement blocks as part of their House History Project. 

The information gathered will be used to form a permanent record of the families who used to live in, or were connected to New Lanark. These details will be collated into a cohesive family portfolio within New Lanark’s Search Room Archive and will also be available to the public as a publication.

The research from the ‘House History’ project will also form the historical basis for the interpretation activities linked to New Lanark’s Double Row Restoration Project. This is a major Townscape Heritage / CARS Project at New Lanark to restore Double Row, the last block of former millworkers’ housing to be restored at the historic site. Building works started on Double Row in late February 2016, and are expected to continue until the end of the year.  The £4m project is being funded by a number of organisations, with the two main funders being the Heritage Lottery Fund (through its Townscape Heritage (TH) programme) and Historic Environment Scotland (through its Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).

Ruth Beattie, Lead Researcher says “The ‘House History’ project is a fantastic opportunity for us to learn more about New Lanark’s people in the early 20th century and bring to light family stories and memories. We look forward to hearing from past residents or their relatives, and would encourage anyone with a story to share to contact us using the details below.”

Anyone with information, photographs or artefacts they would like to share should contact Ruth Beattie at New Lanark Trust on:

  • Email: ruth.[email protected]
  • Call: 01555 661345
  • Post: ‘House History Project’, New Lanark trust, New Lanark Mills, Lanark, ML11 9DB.

Further information on the House History Project and New Lanark can be found at

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07/03/16 Latest News at New Lanark # , , , , ,

Double Row Restoration Project launches at New Lanark

Double Row Restoration Project launches at New Lanark

Building works have begun at New Lanark World Heritage Site on Double Row, the last block of former millworkers’ housing to be restored at the historic site. To coincide with the works beginning, bookings are now open for a range of free heritage-based community activities linked to the project.

Double Row has a beautiful location overlooking the River Clyde

Double Row has a beautiful location overlooking the River Clyde

Since its formation in 1974, New Lanark Trust has pioneered heritage-led regeneration and 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.

The ‘Museum Stair’, a tenement within Double Row, was in continuous occupation from the 1790s – 1970s and is designated a Scheduled Monument, due to the remarkable survival of original artefacts and materials such as fireplaces, sinks, ‘set-in’ beds, remnants of wallpaper and linoleum. This rare example of early industrial workers’ housing is in a very poor, deteriorating condition and requires urgent conservation work. Due to the building’s fragile interior, access is currently restricted but this project will provide remote access and interpretation through the creation of a 3D Virtual Tour, which will offer a ground-breaking new visitor experience.

Total costs for this large scale regeneration project are over £4m. The two main funders are the Heritage Lottery Fund through its Townscape Heritage (TH) programme and Historic Environment Scotland through its Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS). Additional funding has been secured from the Renewable Energy Fund (South Lanarkshire Council), The Wolfson Foundation and New Lanark Trust.

A range of free heritage-based community activities will be delivered in parallel with the construction works. For the first half of 2016, these include:

There are also a number of volunteering opportunities available, from undertaking historical research to assisting with project events. For more information please contact [email protected].

Miranda Lorraine, New Lanark’s Townscape Heritage Project Officer said “After years of planning we are delighted that works have begun to restore the Double Row tenement block to its former glory. We’d love the residents of New Lanark and the local community to get involved with the project, from taking part in the Traditional Building Skills Workshops to donning a hard hat and joining us for a guided tour of the site – there’s an activity for everyone to enjoy”

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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.

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