Penicuik Papermaking Banner

Bank Mill

In 1803, a corn mill situated close to Valleyfield Mill was converted to a paper-mill by Alexander and Duncan Cowan. It specialised in the production of high quality paper for bank notes, especially but not exclusively for the British Linen Bank.

During the downturn caused by the Napoleonic Wars, Bank Mill was retained by the family and continued working as a paper-mill whereas Valleyfield was sold to the government to house French Prisoners of War.

Bank Mill continued with hand-made paper, employing 20 people to make 2-3 tons per week, until 1847, when a papermaking machine was installed, long after all papermaking machines were introduced at the other mills operated by Alex. Cowan & Sons. It continued being operated by Alex. Cowan & Sons until the final closure in 1975.

Line drawing of Bank Mill facade

Plan of Bank Mill