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Silvermills

A tiny district in the northern New Town of Edinburgh, close to the Water of Leith. The old district has all but disappeared, consisting only of the restored of Silvermills House (c.1760), together with East and West Silvermills Lane. The name came from mills set up here to refine a silver ore which had been found near Livingston (West Lothian). The yield of silver was good and King James VI bought the mine, together with the mills, for £5000. However, not long afterwards the yield mysteriously dropped and the venture collapsed. Around 1812, a tannery was built here, which brought objection from the nearby New Town residents but they failed in legal action to have it closed. Today, remnants of the mills can still be seen on either side of West Silvermills Lane, arranged along what was the mill lade. The area has been redeveloped and is now the site of numerous chic town-houses. The artist Robert Scott Lauder (1803-69) was born in Silvermills.


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