Scotland / New Lanark: Utopia come true
New Lanark is a small 18th- century village set in a sublime Scottish landscape where the philanthropist and Utopian idealist Robert Owen moulded a model industrial community in the early 19th century. The imposing cotton mill buildings, the spacious and well-designed workers' housing, and the dignified educational institute and school still testify to Owen's humanism.
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. It was there that Owen first applied his form of benevolent paternalism in industry, building on the altruistic actions of his father-in-law, David Dale. It was there, too, that he formulated his Utopian vision of a society without crime, poverty, and misery. New Lanark prospered under his enlightened management.
The village was founded in 1785, and the cotton mills, powered by water-wheels, were operational from 1786 to 1968. At the turn of the 19th century the mill buildings formed one of the largest industrial groups in the world.
Robert Owen (14 May 1771 – 17 November 1858) was a Welsh textile manufacturer, philanthropic social reformer, and one of the founders of utopian socialism and the cooperative movement. Owen is best known for his efforts to improve the working conditions of his factory workers and his promotion of experimental socialistic communities.