at Patie's Mill
first place to take advantage of the power of the River North Esk
as it descended from the hills was Patie's Mill at Carlops which
later also generated electricity for part of the village in the
1920s. There is a small car park in a former quarry in the village
and footpaths allow a fairly easy walk to the North Esk Reservoir
and the Bore Stane beyond. The village grew at the end of the 18th
century around the cotton weaving industry and the Alan Ramsay Hotel
has provided a focal point for summer visitors who have travelled
to enjoy the beauty of the countryside since the middle of the 19th
century when roads started to improve and travelling became easier.
poet Allan Ramsay (1684 - 1758) spent much time with John Forbes at
Newhall House which provided the setting for his greatest work, the
pastoral comedy The Gentle Shepherd, - a story of rustic life and
courtship in the Pentland Hills. The name Carlops is thought to come
from the story of two witches, or 'carlines', called Jenny Barry and
Mause who would jump between the two outcrops of rock in the village
- 'Carline's Loup' or Carlops, Mause being the witch in Ramsay's story.
According to local legend, lead is thought to have been mined in Jenny
Barry's cave in Mary, Queen of Scots time, the ore being exported
to Holland where the high silver content of the ore was exploited
to yield pure silver.
Newhall is Habbie's Howe, a wooded gorge on the banks of the river
where there is also a small waterfall and a beautiful pool called
Peggy's Pool. Farther downstream, there are signs of other mills;
gunpowder was manufactured near Marfield until an explosion in 1830;
a woollen mill provided the Penicuik paper mills with felts made
from coarse Tweeddale wool. There were also a number of quarries
and mines in the area. A large stone quarry on the North Esk is
said to have supplied the stone for Penicuik House. Earth embankments
and inspection chambers, the remains of filter beds for filtering
the water drained from one of the coal mines before it reached the
river can be found - it was reported that the paper mill owners
in Penicuik did not like the water from the North Esk to be polluted!!
Pool at Habbie's Howe
of the Talla [water] Main can also be seen in the area in the form
of towers which were used to mount surveying equipment to assist
with the construction of the Main. Talla Main was completed in 1905
to supply Edinburgh with water from the Talla Reservoir in Tweedsmuir.
The aqueduct is 56 km long with 21 tunnels and cast iron syphons
to take it under the rivers Tweed, Lyne and the North Esk.
river near Newhall
valley at Carlops