The Falls of Clyde, New Lanark – Acrylic/Ink in a Watercolour Moleskine

These waterfalls allow the River Clyde, which ends up in Glasgow, to fall down towards the World Heritage Village of New Lanark. (Please see my post 31st August 2008). The fast, flowing river was used as a source of power driving spinning machinery in the cotton mill.

There are actually three main waterfalls just above the village. This is Corra Linn which has a drop of almost 30 metres (“Linn” is an old Scots word for “Waterfall”). The two others are Dundaff Linn (5 metres) – next to the village and Bonnington Linn (11 metres) some distance above Corra Linn. A visit here is really worthwhile. The history of how Robert Owen created this “cooperative” venture for the good of his workers is fascinating and shows that he had the interests of the ordinary working man at heart. Once visitors have exhausted touring the village a pleasant walk, up the banks of the Clyde, on the left-hand side of the river leads past the three waterfalls. Corra Linn is the most spectacular – Turner painted it from the flat rock at the bottom of this scene. There is a snag, however!

At the top of the falls, just out of view, a dam crosses the river. It supplies electrical power for local use. The dam has the effect of “switching off” the waterfalls, especially in dry weather. Its only when there is lots of rain, such as at this time of year, or when the dam is allowed to discharge through its slipways do the falls display their beauty. I’ve viewed Corra Linn a few times but have only seen this spectacle at its best, once. The times, when the water is allowed to flow naturally, are advertised in advance so its worthwhile checking if you intend to visit. At least Turner didn’t have this problem but I wonder if he had as much fun, as I did, studying the torrent.