Penicuik Museum and Papermaking Heritage Centre

penicuik_centre_cowanThe Trust is currently developing premises on Bridge Street as the Penicuik Museum and Papermaking Heritage Centre.

We were delighted that we’ve been shortlisted in Jewson’s competition for grants to fund the building works needed to open the Penicuik Museum and Papermaking Heritage Centre. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. Jewsons visited us a couple of weeks ago and we’re waiting to hear whether our bid has been successful.

In parallel with Penicuik Historical Society’s acclaimed exhibition in 2009 to mark the 300 year anniversary of papermaking in Penicuik, the Trust worked on historical research, assembled papermaking documents and artefacts, and sought a permanent home for a papermaking heritage centre. While sadly the purchase of the semi-derelict 1803 Bank Mill fell through, the Trust has found another location for the Centre.

In 2013 the Trust acquired the Pen-y-Coe Press, the town centre printer and retail stationers on Bridge Street and in 2014 gained planning consent to convert part of its premises into the Penicuik Museum and Papermaking Heritage Centre. The large paper store will become the main display and demonstration area, with an audio visual centre next to the Pen-y-Coe Press.

Soon we will be able to celebrate the history of Penicuik ‘The Papermaking Town’ and demonstrate to new generations the wonders of papermaking. The Centre will illustrate the history of papermaking as well as the particular role of Penicuik’s papermakers and it will give hands-on experience of making a sheet of paper.



PCDT volunteers are undertaking much of the conversion work but we must raise money for materials and trades professionals. If you would like to offer help please contact Roger Hipkin 01968 673767 or

Papermaking in Penicuik dates from 1709, with the first mill established on the Esk by Agnes Campbell. Within 100 years, there were 10 mills between Penicuik and Lasswade. Alexander Cowan, depicted above, made a particular contribution to Penicuik both as papermaker and philanthropist, but there were many remarkable businessmen, engineers and mill workers who built Penicuik’s identity as Penicuik ‘The Papermaking Town.’

For more information, see ‘Penicuik Papermaking 300th Anniversary’ by the Penicuik Historical Society’: Penicuik Papermaking