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History of Gretna Township

A Famous Example of Town Planning

Gretna circa 1918
Gretna Township was founded in 1915 and is now a famous example of town planning history. Gretna was the first new town to be sponsored by the government in Britain and was built to house munition workers from the nearby cordite factory, built at the same time. Gretna was used as a proving ground for a number of social experiments and is an example of the work of two men, David Lloyd George, the then Minister of Munitions and Raymond Unwin who was responsible for the great housing drive in the 1920's.

First sod cut in 1915

The first sod was cut in Gretna in August 1915 and the work of construction as planned, was completed in late 1917.
It was built as a complete self contained community having it's own Police force (male and female), Fire Service, Power Station, Hospital, School, Laundry, shops, offices, halls, clubs, and recreational facilities.
All houses and buildings had running water, mains drainage, a bath and were wired for electrical lighting.
All roads in the Township had electrical street lighting.
The Ministry of Munitions also provided all the Churches. All are interesting and add character to the Township.
Two of the Gretna Churches
The Scottish Episcopal is built on Gothic lines; the Church of Scotland is in the Italian style with roughcast walls and a red tiled roof whilst the Roman Catholic is in the Italian Renaissance style.