A Compoud with Great Historical Significance!
The New Lanark Mill is a beautiful sprawling compound with great historical significance, so much so it’s been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I traveled to New Lanark from Glasgow as I was luckily invited to a friend’s family ceilidh in the town, pronounced caley, which is a traditional partner dance originating in Scotland and Ireland. One could liken it to American line dancing but with more kilts and bagpipes!
After surviving the linguistic challenge that is Glasgow on a Friday night out, the train from the city center to Lanark was easy, comfortable, and beautiful. Scotland has a surprisingly different landscape than Ireland, with many more hills and mountains. We were fortunate enough to have the hospitality of our hosts invite us to stay in the large country house, fit for at least 15 people to sleep comfortably, and had beautiful views of farmland with hiking paths leading to waterfalls circling the property.
The Mill itself is famous for its leader Robert Owen and his role in labor rights and the effects of his revolutionary ideas at the New Lanark Mill. Situated on the picturesque River Clyde, the Mill was originally built in 1784 as the largest cotton producer in Scotland. The original owner sold the mill to his son-in-law, Robert Owen, who implemented not only humane working conditions uncharacteristic of the Industrial Revolution for its 2,500 inhabitants and employees, but educational facilities, recreational and community building activities, and the first Infant School in the entire world. The Infant School provided daycare, medical care and education for children of working mothers, as well as adult education classes in the evening.
Owen’s vision became a model for management practices of human resources. The Mill today houses a variety of establishments. Visitors can hike up to the Falls of Clyde, go on various tours such as the Millworkers’ House, Robert Owen’s house, and the Textile Machinery, shop, dine, head to the Roof Garden or pick up some organic yarn. Additionally, The Mill holds special events for holidays and the occasional concert.
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photo: Amy Wiener