Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway

Gretna (Scottish Gaelic: Greatna) is a town in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. Because they are near the Anglo-Scottish border, nearby Gretna Green, and to a lesser extent Gretna, are traditionally associated with eloping English couples because of the more liberal marriage provisions in Scots law compared to English law. "Gretna" has become a term for a place for quick, easy marriages because of this.[1]

Gretna is part of the historic county of Dumfriesshire.[2]

Gretna
Gretna is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Gretna
Gretna
Location within Dumfries and Galloway
Population2,705 (2001 Census)
OS grid referenceNY320671
• Edinburgh66 mi (106 km)
• London270 mi (430 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
CountryScotland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townGRETNA
Postcode districtDG16
Dialling code01461
PoliceScottish
FireScottish
AmbulanceScottish
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament

History

Etymology

Gretna means "(place at the) gravelly hill", from Old English greot "grit" (in the dative form greoten (which is where the -n comes from) and hoh "hill-spur".

The Lochmaben Stone is a megalith standing in a field, nearly 1 mile (1.6 kilometres) west of the Sark mouth on the Solway Firth, three hundred yards or so above high water mark on the farm of Old Graitney. It was one of the traditionally recognised meeting places on the England / Scotland border.

17th century

Prior to the Acts of Union 1707 of the Parliaments of England and Scotland, Gretna was a customs post for collecting taxes on cattle crossing the border between the two kingdoms. The Gretna customs post was established in 1612.[3] A Drove road was constructed between Gretna and Annan in 1619, possibly to facilitate the transportation of cattle from Wigtownshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Dumfriesshire to markets in England.[4]

18th century

Gretna's principal claim to fame arose in 1753 when an Act of Parliament, Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act, was passed in England, which provided, among other things, that if both parties to a marriage were not at least 21 years old, consent to the marriage had to be given by the parents. This Act did not apply in Scotland, which allowed boys to marry at 14 and girls at 12, with or without parental consent. In addition, the Act required procedures that gave notice of an impending marriage to the community. As a result, many elopers fled England, and the first Scottish village they reached was often Gretna. With the construction of a new highway, Gretna Green became easier to reach, and Gretna's appeal as an elopement destination waned.

World War I

The village was notable for HM Factory, Gretna, codenamed Moorside, a huge cordite munitions factory built nearby on the shore of Solway Firth to supply ammunition to British forces during World War I. The factory, the biggest munitions factory ever built, stretched for 9 mi (14 km) from Eastriggs along the Solway coast as far as Longtown in England and 2 mi (3 km) across. The factory took 10,000 navvies to build it, and employed 30,000 workers, mostly women. The workers mixed by hand a devil’s porridge of nitro-glycerine and guncotton into cordite paste, and loaded the extruded cordite strands into shell cases.

Gretna and Eastriggs were built to house the workforce, and many were accommodated nearby in Carlisle. When 5,000 workers arrived back by train to Carlisle, one publican had 1,000 whiskies lined up. The labourers and workers had such a reputation for drunkenness, which was seen by Government as such a threat to the national interest, that Gretna and the surrounding area became a historical curiosity for a considerable period. Under the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 a State Management Scheme was set up in 1916 to bring the liquor industry, including public houses (pubs) and the local breweries, under Government control over a wide area stretching as far as Carlisle and Maryport. There were Spiritless Saturdays, and buying anyone else a drink (shouting), and heaters and coolers (drinking beer and spirits in the same pub) were banned. The pub landlords, became civil servants, were instructed to follow a disinterested management policy and not allow people to get drunk in the pubs. The State Management Scheme persisted for many years after the First World War was long over and the munitions factories dismantled. It was not until the early 1970s, when the low prices and unadulterated beer in the Gretna area began to become conspicuous, that the government enterprise was sold off by the Heath government.

Geography and administration

Gretna is in Dumfries and Galloway, in the south of Scotland, on the A74(M) near the border to England, and near the mouth of the River Esk.[5] The township is distinct from the smaller nearby village of Gretna Green, famous for marriages, which borders but is a separate area from Gretna proper. To the west in Scotland are Eastriggs (about 5 mi [8 km] to the west) and Annan (about 8 mi [13 km] to the west), both situated on the B721 and linked to the nearby A75.[5]

Transport

A military road was built in 1763 by General Wade linking Gretna to Portpatrick, then the main ferry port to Northern Ireland.[6] This was later to become the route of much of the A75 road to Stranraer. However, the A75 is a modern road, post-dating World War I. The original route between Gretna and Annan is now the B721 road, and the A75 diverges significantly from it; similarly, the B724 was the original route between Annan and Dumfries.[7]

In the 1840s, there were three main railway companies building lines around Gretna and this resulted in three railway stations named "Gretna". The first station called "Gretna" was opened by the Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway on 23 August 1843, this station was renamed Gretna Green railway station in April 1852.[8] It closed on 6 December 1965, but a new station was opened by British Rail nearby on 20 September 1993, the station is served by Glasgow South Western Line.[8] This station had a new platform added in 2009,to coincide with the redoubling of this section of track. The other two stations were located a short distance to the east of Gretna, over the border in England. Gretna (Caledonian) railway station was opened on 9 September 1847 by the Caledonian Railway on its main line between Carlisle and Glasgow and Edinburgh.[8] The station closed on 10 September 1951.[8] The North British Railway built Gretna (Border Union) railway station next to the Caledonian station, at Gretna junction, on its short link to the Border Union Railway. The station opened on 1 November 1861 and closed during World War One on 9 August 1915.[8]

The main Anglo-Scottish trunk road running north–south through Gretna was the A74 road. With the opening of the M6 motorway to the south of Carlisle in December 1970,[9] much of the A74 in Scotland was upgraded to motorway standard in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and the upgraded sections of road were renamed the A74(M). The, so called, Cumberland Gap was the remaining 6 miles (9.7 km) of non-upgraded dual-carriageway A74 between the northern terminus of the M6 at Carlisle, and the southern end of the A74(M) at the Scottish border.

The A75 is a major trunk road heading west along the south coast of Scotland from Gretna. Its eastern terminus at Gretna was originally the A74, but this was changed to a junction with the A74(M). The A75 runs past Eastriggs, Annan, Dumfries, Castle Douglas, Gatehouse of Fleet, Newton Stewart and Glenluce before ending in the west at Stranraer.

Present day

Much of the local economy is driven by the marriage industry, where by some accounts, as many as one of every six Scottish weddings takes place in Gretna / Gretna Green. Most marriages take place in Gretna itself, at the Register office, the Anvil Hall, or in the numerous Hotels in the centre of the township. Gretna is also the location of the Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, a development of discount factory shops.

Thousands of starlings occasionally fly in flocks above Gretna. The birds gather in flocks called murmurations, having migrated in the millions from Russia and Scandinavia to escape the harsher winters there.

A nearby sculpture has been approved called the Star of Caledonia.

Sport

Gretna was also the official home of Gretna Football Club, who played in the Scottish Premier League during the 2007–2008 season, the club playing 'home' games at Fir Park, Motherwell. The club also reached the 2006 Scottish Cup Final. Mounting financial problems saw the club relegated from the SPL at the end of the season, then demoted to Division 3 of the Scottish Football League. After attempts to find a buyer for the club proved fruitless, Gretna finally resigned from the SFL on 3 June 2008. A new club, Gretna FC 2008 has been founded in its place. Rugby league also has a large following in the area.

References

Notes

  1. ^ E.g., State v. Clay, 182 Md. 639, 642, 35 A.2d 821, 822-23 (1944).
  2. ^ Thomson Atlas of Scotland, 1832
  3. ^ Haldane, pages 161 & 167.
  4. ^ Haldane, pages 31 & 161.
  5. ^ a b 1:50,000 OS map 85
  6. ^ Taylor, Christopher (1979). The Roads & Tracks of Britain. London, Toronto and Melbourne: J. M. Dent & sons ltd. ISBN 0-460-04329-3, Page 171.
  7. ^ See for instance the re-scaled 1:50,000 Cassini Historical Maps, number 85, for Carlisle & Solway Firth, Revised New Series 1901–1904 (ISBN 978-1-84736-369-5) and Popular Edition 1925 (ISBN 978-1-84736-210-0).
  8. ^ a b c d e Butt, page 110
  9. ^ Chatsworth, Table 7.3, pages 100 - 123.

Sources

  • Butt, R. V. J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations: details every public and private passenger station, halt, platform and stopping place, past and present (1st ed.). Sparkford: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 978-1-85260-508-7. OCLC 60251199.
  • Chatsworth, George (1984). A history of British motorways. London: Thomas Telford Limited. ISBN 978-0-7277-0159-6.
  • Haldane, A.R.B. (1997). The Drove Roads of Scotland. Edinburgh: Berlinn. ISBN 1-874744-76-9.
  • Routledge, Gordon L. (1999).Gretna’s Secret War.
  • Ordnance Survey Landranger Map (number 85) - 1:50,000 scale (1.25 inches to 1 mile). ISBN 0-319-22685-9.
  • Ordnance Survey Explorer Map (number 323) - 1:25,000 scale (2.5 inches to 1 mile)

External links

Battle of Sark

The Battle of Sark, alternatively called the Battle of Lochmaben Stone, was fought between England and Scotland in October 1448. A large battle, it was the first significant Scottish victory over the English in over half a century, following the Battle of Otterburn of 1388. It placed the Scots in a position of strength against the English for over a decade, until Edward IV ascended the English throne, and it brought the powerful Douglas family to even greater prominence in Scotland.

Caledonia (disambiguation)

Caledonia is a Roman name of Celtic origin for most of the area that has become Scotland.

Caledonia may also refer to:

Caledonia, an old name for Scotland

Caledonians, also known as Caledonii or Caledonia Confederacy, name given by historians to the Iron Age indigenous people of Scotland

Cumbria Coastal Way

The Cumbria Coastal Way (CCW) is a long-distance footpath allowing users to travel from Cumbria's southern border to just north of the English–Scottish border. It follows some interesting scenery such as the red sandstone cliffs of St. Bees Head.

This footpath passes through the following locations (from South to North):

Silverdale, Lancashire - 54.167°N 2.827°W / 54.167; -2.827

Arnside

Grange-over-Sands

Greenodd

Ulverston

Barrow-in-Furness

Askam-in-Furness

Kirkby-in-Furness

Broughton-in-Furness

Millom

Ravenglass

Seascale

St. Bees

St. Bees Head

Whitehaven

Workington

Maryport

Allonby

Mawbray

Beckfoot

Silloth

Abbeytown

Burgh by Sands

Carlisle - 54.895°N 2.934°W / 54.895; -2.934

DG postcode area

The DG postcode area, also known as the Dumfries and Galloway postcode area, is a group of fifteen postcode districts in Scotland, which are subdivisions of fourteen post towns. These postcode districts cover most of Dumfries and Galloway, including Dumfries, Annan, Canonbie, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, Gretna, Kirkcudbright, Langholm, Lockerbie, Moffat, Newton Stewart, Sanquhar, Stranraer and Thornhill. The DG16 district also extends across the border into Cumbria, England.

Eastriggs railway station

Eastriggs railway station was a railway station in Dumfries and Galloway between Annan and Gretna.

Dumfries and Galloway Council are trying to find funding to reopen the station.

Gretna

Gretna may refer to one of the following.

Gretna F.C.

Gretna Football Club was a Scottish professional football club based in the town of Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, close to the border between England and Scotland, that last competed in the Scottish Premier League, the then top flight of Scottish football. Nicknamed the Black and Whites or the Anvils the club was founded in 1946, and had rapid and continual success in the mid-2000s, and reached the Scottish Cup Final in 2006, but the club fell into severe financial difficulties when businessman Brooks Mileson, its main financial backer, withdrew funds due to ill health. The club was forced to dissolve in 2008 due to money issues.

Despite being based in Scotland, the club participated in amateur and semi-professional leagues in English football from 1947 until they were elected to the Scottish Football League at the third attempt in 2002. Relying heavily on substantial financial support from Mileson, the club were promoted through the Scottish leagues from the Third Division to the Scottish Premier League in less than five years. The club also reached the 2006 Scottish Cup Final, losing in a penalty shoot-out to Hearts.

Gretna struggled badly in the SPL and the club were placed in administration after Mileson withdrew his support due to illness. At the end of the season, all of the club's staff were made redundant and the club were initially relegated to the Third Division due to their inability to guarantee fulfilment of their forthcoming fixtures. After this demotion, the one remaining offer to buy the club was withdrawn. The club resigned their place in the Scottish Football League on 3 June 2008 and were formally liquidated on 8 August.The club's supporters' trust then decided to establish a new club, Gretna 2008, who were accepted into the East of Scotland Football League on 11 July 2008. Whilst sharing the same fanbase and a similar name, the new club has no legal connection with the original Gretna Football Club.

Gretna F.C. 2008

Gretna Football Club 2008 (commonly referred to as Gretna 2008 and colloquially as Gretna) is a football club from the town of Gretna. It was founded in 2008 after the bankruptcy and demise of Gretna, which had existed since 1946. Gretna 2008 is not a direct continuation of the old club, being under a completely different management and set-up; the club trades under the name Gretna FC 2008 Ltd to avoid confusion with the old Gretna.

In 2013, the club became founder members of the Lowland League, having previously played in the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division. The team played for most of the 2008–09 season at the Everholm Stadium in Annan. Late in the season, however, the new owners of Raydale Park allowed Gretna 2008 to move to the ground in their home town. In May 2011, the Raydale Community Partnership, of which Gretna FC 2008 is a member, negotiated the purchase of the site.

Gretna Green railway station

Gretna Green railway station serves the village of Gretna Green and the town of Gretna in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It is located on the Glasgow South Western Line and is managed by Abellio ScotRail who provide all passenger train services.

HM Factory, Gretna

H.M. Factory, Gretna was the United Kingdom's largest Cordite factory in World War I. The government-owned facility was adjacent to the Solway Firth, near Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway. It was built by the Ministry of Munitions in response to the Shell Crisis of 1915.

The Devil's Porridge Museum, Eastriggs, Dumfriesshire, commemorates the efforts of these workers during the First World War.

List of civil parishes in Scotland

This is a list of the 871 civil parishes in Scotland.

List of listed buildings in Dumfries and Galloway

This is a list of listed buildings in Dumfries and Galloway. The list is split out by parish.

List of listed buildings in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Anwoth, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Applegarth, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Balmaclellan, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Balmaghie, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Borgue, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Buittle, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Caerlaverock, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Canonbie, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Carsphairn, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Closeburn, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Colvend And Southwick, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Crossmichael, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Cummertrees, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Dalbeattie, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Dalry, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Dalton, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Dornock, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Dryfesdale, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Dumfries, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Dunscore, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Durisdeer, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Eskdalemuir, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Ewes, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Gatehouse Of Fleet, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Girthon, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Glasserton, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Glencairn, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Half Morton, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Hoddom, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Holywood, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Hutton And Corrie, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Inch, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Johnstone, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Keir, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kells, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kelton, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkbean, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkcolm, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkconnel, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkcowan, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkcudbright, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkgunzeon, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkinner, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkmabreck, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkmahoe, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkmaiden, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkmichael, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkpatrick Durham, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkpatrick Irongray, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkpatrick-Fleming, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Kirkpatrick-Juxta, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Leswalt, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Lochmaben, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Lochrutton, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Middlebie, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Minnigaff, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Mochrum, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Morton, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Mouswald, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in New Abbey, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in New Galloway, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in New Luce, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Newton Stewart, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Old Luce, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Parton, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Penninghame, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Penpont, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Portpatrick, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Rerrick, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Ruthwell, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Sanquhar, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Sorbie, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in St Mungo, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Stoneykirk, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Stranraer, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Terregles, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Tinwald, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Tongland, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Torthorwald, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Troqueer, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Tundergarth, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Twynholm, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Tynron, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Urr, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Wamphray, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Westerkirk, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway

List of listed buildings in Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway

This is a list of listed buildings in the parish of Gretna in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.

List of numbered roads in the British Isles

This is a list of numbered roads in the British Isles.

Raydale Park

Raydale Park is a football stadium in Gretna, Scotland. It is home to Lowland League side Gretna 2008 and now has a capacity of 1,030. Raydale formerly served as the home ground of Gretna until the club resigned from the Scottish Football League in 2008.

Star of Caledonia

The Star of Caledonia, also called the Gretna Landmark, is a planned sculpture designed by Cecil Balmond, Charles Jencks and Andy Goldsworthy. It is to be located near Gretna, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, close to the England-Scotland border. The sculpture was approved on 27 February 2013. The project is being promoted by the Gretna Landmark Trust.

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