A riverside residential district of Penicuik in Midlothian, Valleyfield lies just to the southeast of the town centre, on the north bank of the River North Esk. For almost 270 years, this was an industrial district. Valleyfield Mill was established as a paper mill in 1709 by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik (1676 - 1755). In 1779, it was bought by Charles Cowan (1735 - 1805), who expanded the enterprise by taking over a neighbouring corn mill.

In 1811, with a weak market for paper, the mill was temporarily taken over by the Government for use in accommodating French prisoners captured during the Napoleonic Wars. The prisoners who died here are commemorated by the French Prisoners' Monument. By the 1820s, paper-making was re-established by the Cowans and it had become the largest paper mill in Scotland by 1851. Its use as a prison is also remembered in the modern street names created after the mill was demolished following its closure in 1975; namely Waterloo Bank and Bellerophon Drive (after HMS Bellerophon on which Napoleon surrendered).

Valleyfield House was built as two houses but converted into one for the growing Cowan family by Robert Reid (1774 - 1856) but has now been demolished. Valleyfield School was built by the Cowans in 1810 for the children of their workers. It remains although is now a private residence.

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