Annan, Dumfries and Galloway

Annan (/ˈænən/ AN-ən; Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Anainn) is a town and former royal burgh in Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland. Historically part of Dumfriesshire, its public buildings include Annan Academy, of which the writer Thomas Carlyle was a pupil, and a Georgian building now known as "Bridge House". Annan also features a Historic Resources Centre. In Port Street, some of the windows remain blocked up to avoid paying the window tax.

Annan is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Location within Dumfries and Galloway
Population8,760 (mid-2020 est.)[2]
OS grid referenceNY 192 661
• Edinburgh67 mi (108 km)
• London273 mi (439 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townANNAN
Postcode districtDG12
Dialling code01461
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
54°58′59″N 3°15′58″W / 54.983°N 3.266°W / 54.983; -3.266
Annan, with Mote of Annan to the right
Annan River road bridge

Each year on the first Saturday in July, Annan celebrates the Royal Charter and the boundaries of the Royal Burgh are confirmed when a mounted cavalcade undertakes the Riding of the Marches. Entertainment includes a procession, sports, field displays and massed pipe bands. Annan's in America first migrated to New York and Virginia. Annandale Virginia is an early settlement which celebrates The Scottish Games annually.

Geography edit

Annan stands on the River Annan—from which it is named—nearly 2 miles (3 km) from its mouth, accessible to vessels of 60 tons as far as Annan Bridge and 300 tons within 12 mile (800 m) of the town.[3] It is 15 miles (24 km) from Dumfries by rail,[4] in the region of Dumfries and Galloway on the Solway Firth in the south of Scotland. Eastriggs is about 3 miles (5 km) to the east, while Gretna and the English border is about 8 miles (13 km) to the east.

History edit

Roman remains exist nearby.[4]

The Mote of Annan formed the original home of the de Brus family, later known as the Bruces, lords of Annandale,[4] which most famously produced Robert the Bruce. It was at the Battle of Annan in December 1332 that Bruce supporters overwhelmed Balliol's forces to bring about the end of the first invasion of Scotland in the Second War of Scottish Independence. The Balliols and the Douglases were also more or less closely associated with Annan.[4] Annan Castle once stood in the old churchyard and was originally the church tower.

The Battle of Bruce's Acres was fought near Newbie Castle against the English in the 13th century.

Bruce's Well is a natural spring that lies on the edge of the River Annan just downstream of the Gala Burn and Glen. It is associated with Robert the Bruce as recorded by Historic Environment Scotland.

During the period of the Border lawlessness the inhabitants suffered repeatedly at the hands of moss-troopers and through the feuds of rival families, in addition to the losses caused by the Scottish Wars of Independence.[4] During his retreat from Derby, Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed in the High Street at the inn where Back to the Buck now stands.

With the river embanked, Annan served as a maritime town whose shipyards built many clippers and other boats. A cairn on the jetty commemorates Robert Burns, who worked as an exciseman here in the 1790s. Although the port is now mainly dry, a few stranded boats remain.

The alumni of Annan Academy include Thomas Carlyle.[4]

After the Acts of Union 1707, Annan, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Lochmaben and Sanquhar formed the Dumfries district of burghs, returning one member between them to the House of Commons of Great Britain.[3] Annan previously formed a constituency of the Parliament of Scotland and the Convention of Estates. In 1871, the Dumfries Burghs had a population of 3,172 and the royal burgh of Annan had 4,174, governed by a provost and 14 councillors.[3]

A Harbour Trust was established in 1897 to improve the port.[4] The small Newbie Harbour lay on the other side of the River Annan near Newbie Mill and served the old Newbie Castle and barony.

Annan Town Hall was built in Scottish baronial style using the local sandstone and completed in 1878.[5]

By 1901, the population was 5,805, living principally in red sandstone buildings.[4]

The railway turntable in the National Railway Museum, York was manufactured by John Boyd and Co of Annan[6] in 1954. It is the only survivor of a small batch assumed to have been subcontracted from the main turntable manufacturing company, Cowans Sheldon. The design and development of the railway turntable has, on occasion, been erroneously attributed to Annan because of the exhibit in the NRM.

In 2021, the town was affected by heavy rainfall and flooding, resulting in the collapse of two footbridges on the River Annan. The Cuthbertson Memorial Bridge, down from Galabank and in view of the A75 bypass, was completed in 1957 in memory of Surgeon Lieutenant William Cuthbertson who died in the Second World War. Meanwhile, the Diamond Jubilee Bridge, accessible from the Warmanbie road, was much older having been built in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's 60th year on the throne. The local population was devastated by the bridges being swept away as they were symbolic, vital and important for the local community. The nearest crossing of the river is south at Annan Bridge and at the north it is Brydekirk. [7]

Town colours edit

Annan, along with many other local settlements in the Dumfriesshire region, use the colours black and gold on the town's sports teams. A proposed flag was designed by Philip Tibbetts in 2017, but has yet to be adopted. However, the coat of arms of the town show the Bruce red saltire on gold background combination. Meanwhile, the Riding of the Marches common riding is synonymous with the royal blue and gold pairing.[8]

Landmarks edit

Just outside the town, the Chapelcross nuclear power station operated from 1959 to 2004 and is being decommissioned. The four cooling towers were demolished in 2007.

The nearby Hoddom Castle was built by John Maxwell, 4th Lord Herries (c. 1552–1565).

To the east of the town lies the settlement of Watchill and the similarly named Watchhall.

Part of the A75 between Annan and Dumfries is reputed to be haunted.[9][10]

Churches edit

Annan is served by the following churches:

  • Annan Old Parish Church, High Street (Church of Scotland)[11]
  • St. Andrew's Parish Church, Bank Street (Church of Scotland)[12]
  • Annan URC, Station Road (United Reformed Church)
  • St. John's Church, St. John's Road (Scottish Episcopal Church)
  • St. Columba's Church, 40 Scotts Street (Catholic Church) Built as a Congregational Church in 1794 became a Catholic church in 1839. Added to in 1904 by Charles Walker of Newcastle as the gift of the parish priest the Rev Canon Lord Archibald Douglas.[13]

There is also a local interchurch group, known as Annandale Churches Together.[14]

Economy edit

In the 19th century, Annan was connected to the Glasgow & South Western Railway, the Caledonian Railway, and the Solway Junction Railway. It exported cured hams, cattle, sheep, and grain to England; it also produced cotton goods, ropes, ships, and salmon.[3] By the First World War, it was also a center of bacon-curing, distilling, tanning, sandstone quarrying, and nursery-gardening.[4]

Cochran Boilers 1878, Cochran and Co, Annan, Engineers. James Taylor Cochran and Edward Compton started their company Cochran Boilers in Birkenhead, moving to Annan in 1897/ 98. Where it grew to be a major world wide exporter of Cochran Boilers. There in 1998 it celebrated its one hundred years in Scotland. It was Cochran who invented the famous Cochran Vertical Boiler. The boiler was an immediate success. ( the company also produced paddle steamers and two early submarines with novel steam plants ).

Annandale distillery, established in 1836, closed in 1918 and reopened in 2014. It produces a Lowland Malt.[15]

Education edit

Transportation edit

Annan Bridge, a stone bridge of three arches, built between 1824 and 1827, carries road traffic over the River Annan.[4] It was designed by Robert Stevenson and built by John Lowry. There is also a railway bridge[4] and a nearby pedestrian bridge over the Annan. It is still served by the Annan railway station, the old Solway Junction Railway station Annan Shawhill having closed to passengers in 1931 and freight in 1955. Newbie Junction Halt railway station briefly served the old Newbie Tile and Brickworks as well as the Cochran's Boiler Works that stood on the short Newbie Branch.

Outdoor activity edit

Annandale Way is a 53-mile (85 km) walking route[18] that was opened in September 2009.[19] The route runs through Annandale, from the source of the River Annan to the sea; it passes through the town of Annan and offers interesting walking both up river and down from the town.

Sport edit

  • Annan RFC are the town’s rugby union side who play at Violetbank and have various men’s, women’s and youth teams.
  • Annan Town AFC and FC Annan are amateur association football teams that play at Everholm Park in Dumfries' Sunday Amateur Football League.
  • Annan Alligators are a swimming club.
  • ADAC are an athletics club.
  • Annan Pétanque Club were established in 2021.

The town has four defunct association football clubs:

  • Annan F.C. (1885-95) known previously as “Our Boys” played at the Cricket Field at Greenknowe. In 1894 they moved to a new cricket field at Closehead Park. They club shared a rivalry with a lesser known side from the town called Solway Rovers.[21]

Notable people edit

Edward Irving, ca.1823

Sport edit

Gallery edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba ~ Gaelic Place-names of Scotland
  2. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d EB (1878).
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k EB (1911).
  5. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "High Street: Town Hall and Freestanding Lamps (LB21097)". Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  6. ^ "John Boyd and Co - Graces Guide".
  7. ^ "Two bridges 'washed away' by heavy downpours". BBC News. 29 October 2021. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  8. ^ "A Flag For Dumfriesshire". British County Flags. 6 November 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  9. ^ Cohen, Daniel; Marchesi, Stephen (1992). "The Annan Road Horrors". Railway Ghosts and Highway Horrors. London: Apple. pp. 61–66. ISBN 0-590-45423-4.
  10. ^ rale (18 June 2010). "The Four Most Frightening Roads You Can Travel". Weird Worm. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
  11. ^ Annan Old Parish Church
  12. ^ "St. Andrew's Parish Church". Archived from the original on 23 February 2020. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  13. ^ "". 24 September 2017.
  14. ^ "Annandale Churches Together",, archived from the original on 5 September 2014, retrieved 5 May 2013.
  15. ^ A Sleeping Beauty Awakens, Annandale Distillery Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-05-05.
  16. ^ "Annan Academy". Dumfries and Galloway Council. Retrieved 18 July 2022.
  17. ^ "Green Gown Awards 2020 - Dumfries and Galloway College - Winner | Sustainability Exchange". Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  18. ^ Annandale Way website. Retrieved on 2013-05-05.
  19. ^ The Long Distance Walkers Association – Annandale Way. Retrieved on 2013-05-05.
  20. ^ "The story of 1868 (Part One); the association game in Scotland". 5 April 2021.
  21. ^ "Annan".
  22. ^ "Blacklock, Thomas" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 4 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 23.
  23. ^ Gibson, John Westby (1887). "Clapperton, Hugh" . Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 10. pp. 372–374.
  24. ^ Stephen, Leslie (1911). "Carlyle, Thomas" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 5 (11th ed.). pp. 349–354.
  25. ^ "Irving, Edward" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 14 (11th ed.). 1911. pp. 854–855.
  26. ^ Andy Aitken in the Queen of the South club history Archived 28 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2013-05-05.

References edit


External links edit