A Sunday at New Lanark

New Lanark phone box

New Lanark World Heritage Site

Sightseeing at New Lanark

New Lanark Workd Heritage Centre, Scotland

New Lanark Counting House

New Lanark street

Last Sunday, while the rest of the country was apparently basking in glorious spring sunshine, Terry, my parents and I all got wrapped up in our winter woolies and headed to the little village of New Lanark, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We’ve actually visited New Lanark a few times now, but it’s always an interesting place for a Sunday stroll, and they’ve added a couple of new attractions since we were last there, so when my parents’ told us they’d bought us some tickets from Groupon, we were excited to go along and see what was new.

I’ll leave the history lessons to Wikipedia, but for those of you who just want the quick version (Er, you do know that I’m totally incapable of providing a quick version of ANYTHING, don’t you?) New Lanark is an 18th century mill town, on the banks of the River Clyde. It’s interesting, not just because of the giant cotton mill at its heart, but because its founder, Robert Owen, was a philanthropist who wanted to put an end to the terrible conditions working class Brits typically lived and worked in back then. To do this, he created New Lanark: a purpose-built community created to house the mill workers and their families in tenement buildings set around the mill, and with their own church, shop, school etc.

To those of us NOT from the 18th century, the conditions still seem pretty squalid. The village itself is beautiful, and is set in stunning countryside, but entire families (large, extended families, too) were crammed into one small room, with children as young as 10 sent to work in the mill, like in a novel by Charles Dickens or something. As awful as it all sounds, these people considered themselves the lucky ones: unlike many people of their class, they at least had homes and jobs – and what’s more, they had free healthcare, clean accommodation (there were teams of inspectors who made sure hygiene standards were up to par), fresh, affordable food from the local co-operative store… It was way ahead of its time, basically, which makes it a really fascinating place for a visit.

I’ll tell you one thing, though: I’ve never been so grateful to have been born in modern times. And not just because of the shoes, either.

new-lanark-tenement

 


7 Comments

  • Some quick pics from my trip to New Lanark this weekend: http://t.co/OBHfyvHuWC #scotbloggers #scottishbloggers

  • New blog post is here —> http://t.co/0pGFWHZEjT http://t.co/OrTeCxg4mx

  • Tracey says:

    Not only did I admire your boots, I learned something new!

  • gill says:

    i grew up there lovely to see your photos really cheered me up in hot himid perth wa

  • Ooh lovely! Sounds a little bit like Bournville here in Brum, built by the Cadbury family to house their chocolate factory workers in better conditions – It’s now one of the most desirable (and expensive) areas in the city!

  • Jess says:

    As you know I am from the states, but an avid BBC viewer, and part English and Irish… ( what does that have to do with the post, you say?) I love love the countryside. I want to visit the european, namely English countryside. THis is beautiful and very interesting. So neat! I hope to visit Europe in the next year or so.
    http://www.elegnantlydressedandstylish.com

    • Ellie says:

      Beautiful post, Amber!

      Jess – I hope you enjoy your visit. Can I highly recommend Hay-on-Wye to you? It’s the most beautiful place in the world, and has the world’s highest concentration of book shops too. :)

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