New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog


19/04/17 Uncategorized # , , , , , , ,

A taster of Archaeology at New Lanark

A taster of Archaeology at New Lanark

On Tuesday 18th April New Lanark took part in the global ‘World Heritage Day’ celebrations, showcasing what makes each of the 1,052 UNESCO World Heritage Sites unique and worthy of “outstanding universal value”.

A variety of activities took place at New Lanark over the Easter weekend from 16th – 18th April – all celebrating our unique heritage. These ranged from a Scanathon on Monday, a yarnbomb on Tuesday (you can read all about it here) and three days of Archaeology Taster Tours!

The tours were designed to give visitors a unique opportunity to get a taster of archaeology by seeing volunteers at work excavating post-abandonment deposits from 1 Double Row’s basement. There was an archaeologist on hand to explain the process and let visitors know about any interesting “finds”. As well as visiting the Double Row tenement block, the tour also visited the site of Mantilla Row where visitors had the chance to find out more about this lost building in New Lanark’s history. The tours were delivered by Northlight Heritage.

We went along on the last tour of the series on World Heritage Day…

Inspecting the visible (above ground) archaeology of Mill One – New Lanark Mill Hotel

After three days of excavation work the volunteers begin the backfilling so as to protect the finds for future generations and minimise disruption to the excavated area

Showing some of the fantastic restoration work to the exterior of Double Row

Feature details, like these wrought iron air vents have been maintained throughout the building to create a high-quality and authentic historic conservation

Amy, an Archaeology Student from the University of Glasgow has been volunteering on the Double Row excavation project

One of the three trenches excavated in the basement of 1 Double Row

Excavations have uncovered the fascinating area of paving stones, deliberately arranged so as to have a defined, curved edge – perhaps to allow the flow of another pathway from the doorway into the basement

The scaffolding is in the process of being removed at Double Row

Finishing touches on the stonework

Next on the tour, we saw the demarcation of Mantilla Row – where the exterior walls, doors and windows would have stood

The little-known history of Mantilla Row

A fascinating insight into the many names Mantilla Row has been known as through the years – the exact origins of its name are still unknown, but the presiding theory is that the name has evolved over the years through oral tradition and may have also been altered through interpretation of handwriting or accents!


The Archaeology Taster Tours were funded by a Townscape Heritage / Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme which is taking place at New Lanark over the next three years. Phase 1 of this large scale restoration project began in March 2016 and consisted of the restoration of Double Row, an 18th century tenement building. In 2017, Phase 2 of this project will include the construction of low rubble walls to indicate where the Mantilla Row tenement once stood before its demolition in 1988 and the repair and consolidation of the Church Wall. 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.


If you would like to be kept up to date about any future activities linked to the project please sign up for New Lanark’s monthly e-newsletter here.

Melissa – 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.

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