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UNESCO World Heritage Site: New Lanark

Caolasnacon Caravan & Camping Park, New Lanark and Mount View Caravan Park


View From Hadrian's Wall to the Western Isles on 3Traveller's travel map.

There was time for another quick walk around the campsite in Glencoe before we left at 09:30.

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It took us three hours to get to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of New Lanark. We passed through some more wonderful scenery and spotted a rainbow before passing Glasgow and continuing south-east.

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According to UNESCO, "New Lanark is an exceptional example of a purpose-built 18th century mill village, set in a picturesque Scottish landscape near the Falls of Clyde, where in the early years of the 19th century, the Utopian idealist Robert Owen (1771-1858) inspired a model industrial community based on textile production."

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We walked round the streets of millworkers' terraced houses first.

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Then on down the hillside to the River Clyde, passing a restored waterwheel on the way.

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Next up for us was a collection of connected buildings consisting of the Engine House, Robert Owen's School for Children and the formidably-named Institute for the Formation of Character. Whilst the Institute and the school were built in 1816 and 1817 respectively, the Engine House was built in 1881 in order to house a new Petrie steam engine. The Petrie engine on display there now dates from 1911.

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The building was then linked to one of the mills by a rope drive, though the one there now is a replica.

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The Institute for the Formation of Character was designed for education and recreation and so its rooms included galleries, a reading room and library, and other rooms used for various purposes, such as concerts, dances, religious services and later on a works canteen and amusements. Some are still in use now for weddings, conferences, concerts and other events. It also contains the New Lanark Visitor Centre Reception. We saw an exhibition containing items found during the restoration of different parts of New Lanark over more recent years. These included a fragment of wooden water wheel dating from the 18th century and an iron stove from the first part of the 19th century.

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From there we went upstairs to a recreation of a classroom in Robert Owen's School for Children. This had original classroom displays, including fascinating painted canvas wall hangings (which were used to teach history, geography and zoology) and a massive globe which also looked handpainted.

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There were some other interesting items on display, including a Phrenological Head and some copies of exercise books originally dating from 1826.

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Back at the Visitor Centre Reception, we passed over the bridge into the old Mill 2, where we went through the Annie McLeod Experience (a ride around the place, narrated by a hologram of Annie McLeod, who described life as a 10-year-old mill girl at New Lanark in 1820) and then looked round an exhibition hall containing huge working spinning machinery in action.

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Then we went onto the rooftop garden for a look at the view.

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Our last stops were at the Millworkers' House and Robert Owen's House. The Millworkers' House was set up to show what it would have looked like in 1820.

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The living conditions of the millworkers in New Lanark were a lot better than that of millworkers elsewhere in the first half of the 19th century, but all the same, the differences between the Millworkers' House and Robert Owen's House clearly revealed the class divide.

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We did also try to get into the recreated village shop (as it has a lot of product packaging from the 1920s) but it had closed for the day ten minutes beforehand, which was disappointing. I wished I'd thought to go in there at the beginning.

From New Lanark it was roughly half an hour to Abington. We camped for the night at Mount View Caravan Park (they had some space for tents too, despite the name). It was a nice little place, though judging from the angle one of the trees grew at, it must get pretty windy there at times.

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The next morning we drove to Manchester without any issues, before returning home the following day.

Posted by 3Traveller 11:38 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged buildings scotland road_trip united_kingdom museum camping unesco_world_heritage_site house_museum Comments (0)

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