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Local History

Gretna Area Through The Ages

Gretna and its surrounding area is steeped in history, some of these events & historical records are provided on this site.

From Neolithic times and the Lochmaben Stone to the story of the greatest munitions factory on earth in the mid 1900's.

Use the menu bar on the left of this page to read about Gretna Area's turbulent and exciting past.
Gretna area through the ages
Of course today Gretna is perhaps best known as the wedding capital of the UK and it would be remiss not to mention the history of runaway marriages, however the area has played a significant part in Scottish history throughout the ages.
Robert The Bruce, born in 1274, was Knight and Overlord of Annandale, he was crowned King of Scotland in 1306.

In the winter of 1313 after suffering defeat, King Robert went into hiding in the cave while evading capture by Edward Longshanks the first of England, he spent three months living a solitary existence at a time, when the wars of Independence were at their bleakest for the Scots.

The cave is set in a precipitous rock face sheer above the River Kirtle near Gretna. The original access by rope from the top of the cliff has been replaced by a stairway to allow visitor access.

Why Flee to Gretna Green

Located on the old coaching route between London and Edinburgh, Gretna Green was the first village reached once you entered Scotland. Lovers from south of the Border soon took advantage of the Scottish Law and it resulted in a thriving marriage trade being set up in Gretna Green.

Marriages became a lucrative business and a variety of men set themselves up as 'priests'. One of the first was Joseph Paisley who was a fisherman and smuggler. He set up in one of the original marriage venues; the World Famous Old Blacksmith's Shop. This was a working smithy and therefore a focal point of the village.
Gretna Area Gretna Area wedding capital of the UK
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About Robert The Bruce & The History of Runaway Marriages and many other fascinating subjects, using the menu bar on the left of this page.