(the hill of the cuckoo) was the first of several towns to harness
the power of the Esk for papermaking. The New Statistical Account,
1845, states that 'in 1836, Penicuik produced daily a quantity of
paper 20 miles long.' During the Napoleonic Wars, Penicuik had three
camps for prisoners-of-war. The first was opened in 1803 at Greenlaw
House, leased from the Trotters at the Bush, near Roslin. The second
was at Esk Mills, built in the 1770s as Scotland's first cotton
mill which employed over 500 people by the end of that century.
It was sold to the government in 1810 to house prisoners-of-war
but due to several successful escape attempts and troubles, it was
soon to be used as a barracks for the soldiers guarding the prisoners
in the other prisons. This closure lead to the opening of the third
and largest prison at Valleyfield Mill, a paper mill since 1709.