Old Photograph Valleyfield Paper Mills Penicuik Scotland

Old photograph of Valleyfield Paper Mills in Penicuik, Scotland. Papermaking is thought to have started in the area around 1709. The best firm evidence of early paper making lies in the parish cemetery, where the grave of Thomas Rutherford, dated 1735, describes him as " papermaker ". There were at least two established paper mills in the town. In the mid 18th century Charles Cowan, originally a grocer in Leith, established the Cowan Valleyfield Mills. In 1796, Cowan brought in his son, Alexander Cowan, to manage the mill. An adjacent corn mill was purchased in 1803, becoming known as Bank Mill after he converted it to produce the paper on which banknotes were printed. The Valleyfield Mills were used as a prisoner of war camp, mainly for French prisoners, from March 1811 until September 1814, often referred to as the Napoleonic War but more correctly at this period being the Peninsula War.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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