The River Clyde which is the third longest river in Scotland rises in the Lowther Hills in South Lanarkshire.
NEW LANARK is a village on the river close to the town of Lanark and the Clyde Falls where in 1786 the river was harnessed to provide power for cotton mills built by David Dale in collaboration with Richard Arkwright and his recently developed water-powered spinning machinery. In partnership with his son in law, Robert Owen, the enterprise became hugely successful and under Owen's supervision it became the epitome of utopian socialism and an early example of a planned settlement surrounding the mills. In Owen's time some 2500 people lived and worked at New Lanark and Owen resolved to improve working conditions whilst providing vastly improved tenement blocks in a pleasant environment. He also paid particular attention to the needs of the 500 or so children, many of them being employed in the mills, by opening the first infants school in Britain in 1817. Owen also introduced a savings scheme for his workers as well as providing a retail shop where prices were kept to a minimum.
The mills closed in 1968 and the whole village is now in the care of the New Lanark Conservation Trust where most of the buildings have been restored to become a major tourist attraction with some 400,000 visitors each year.
It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.
Some of the tenement blocks have been restored and modernised providing private accommodation for about 200 people under strict conditions.