This Neolithic granite boulder over 2 metres high has been dated to around 3000 BC.
In local historian John A. Thomson's book "History in Annan" he describes how Annan completely disappeared after the Black Death and goes on to say:
"To the east lies Graitney and between Graitney and the Solway is a massive boulder called the 'Clochmabon Stane' at Sulwath. Some Legends tell of its origins being CIoch Mabon or stone of Mabon, dating from King Arthur's time, and later it was anglicised into the 'Lochmaben Stone'. At the very end of Alexander's reign he encouraged the knights and sheriffs from both sides of the border to meet and write down, after their mixed inquest, a group of laws applicable to both sides. The Border Sheriffs then declared it established that the Counties of Carlisle and Dumfries ought to 'answer at Sulwath according to laws and customs heretofore in use there between the two realms'. This finally established Graitney as a place of prime importance where regular meetings were held."
John goes on to describe how the Stone became a recognised meeting place for the Wardens of the English and Scottish Marches who met on Truce days to hear complaints and exchange prisoners taken during Border Raids until the union of the Crowns of Scotland & England in 1603.
John's book "History in Annan" has a final chapter dealing exclusively with Gretna is available at Gretna Hall Shop or Forsyths in Annan.
Did you Know?
Gretna means "Greot" - A gravel or beach settlement. The name changed to Gretenho in 1253, then to Graitney in 1583.
Salt Making - rights granted at "Raynpatrick" now Redkirk, was from Melrose Abbey and Holme Cultram. The rent was paid to the Abbey.
Smuggling - Ships of up to two hundred tons sailed with coal, hides etc to Gretna, smuggling was carried out on both sides of the Solway Firth, brandy, tobacco, salt, silk and many other goods were smuggled ashore at Sarkfoot, Redkirk & the Brow. Notably, Robert Burns exciseman & poet boarded the sailing ship "The Rosamund" at Sarkfoot.