Gretna is a toun in Dumfries an Gallowa, Scotland. Acause thay is near the Scots-Inglis Border, nearby Gretna Green, an tae a lesser extent Gretnam, is associatit tradeetional wi elopin English couples, acause o the mair leeberal mairiage proveesions in Scots law compare't tae English law. Acause o this, 'Gretna' his become a term for a place for quick, easy mairiages.[1]


Central Avenue, Gretna
Gretna is located in Scotland
Location within Scotland
Population2,705 (2011 Census)
OS grid referenceNY320671
• Edinburgh66 mi (106 km)
• Lunnon270 mi (430 km)
Cooncil area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnitit Kinrick
Post tounGRETNA
Postcode destrictDG16
Diallin code014161
EU PairlamentScotland
UK Pairlament
Scots Pairlament
Leet o places
54°59′38″N 3°03′43″W / 54.994°N 3.062°W / 54.994; -3.062Coordinates: 54°59′38″N 3°03′43″W / 54.994°N 3.062°W / 54.994; -3.062

Greta is pairt o the historic coonty o Dumfriesshire.[2]





Gretna means "(place at the) graively hill", fae Auld English greot "grit" (in the dative form greoten (that is whaur the -n comes fae) an hoh (hill-spur).

The Lochmaben Stane is a megalith staundin in a field, awmaist 1 mile wast o the Sark mooth on the Solway Firth, three hunner yairt or sae abuin the heich watter merk on the ferm o Old Graitney. It wis yin o the tradeetional gree'd meetin places on the England/Scotland border.

17t century


Afore the Acts o Union 1707 o the Pairlaments o England an Scotland, Gretna wis an excise post for collectin taxs on cattle crossin the border atween the twa kinricks. The Gretna exise post wis estaiblisht in 1612.[3] A drave road wis biggit atween Gretna an Annan in 1619, mebbe tae facilitate the transportation o cattle fae Wigtounshire, Kirkcoubrieshire, and Dumfriesshire tae mercats en England.[4]

18t century


Gretna's principle claim tae fame araise in 1753 whan an Act o Pairlament, Lord Hardwicke's Mairiage Act, wis passt in England, that providit, amang ither things, that if baith pairties tae a mairiage wisna at least 21 year old, consent til the mairiage hid tae be gied by the paurents. This Act didna applee in Scotland, that alloued boys tae mairy at 14 an girls at 12, wi or withoot paurental consent. In addeetion, the Ac require't procedures that gied notice o an impendin mairiage til the community. As a result, mony elopers flew fae England, an the first Scots veelage thay reakit wis aften Gretna. Wi the biggin o a new heichwey, Gretna Green becam easier tae reak, and Gretna's appeal as an elopement destination dwyne't.

Warld War I


The veelage wis namely for HM Factory, Gretna, code-name't Moorside, a muckle cordite ammuneetion warks built nearby o the shore o the Solway Firth tae fend ammuneetion tae Breetish forces durin Warld War I. The warks, the mucklemaist ammuneetion warks ever built, reakit for 9 mile fae Eastriggs alang the Solway coast as faur as Langtoun in England an 2 mile across. The Factory teuk 10,000 navvys tae built it, an employed 30,000 wirkers, maistly weemen. The wirkers mixt by haund a Devil's Porridge o nitro-glycerine an guncotton intae cordite glouter, an laidit the extrudit cordite ply intae shell cases.

Gretna an Eastriggs wis built tae hoose the warkforce, an many wis accomodatit nearby in Cairl. Whan 5,000 wirkers arrived back by train tae Cairl, yin hottle-keeper hid 1,000 whiskys line't up. The laubourers and wirkers hid sic a reputation for druckenness, that wis seen by the Government as sic a threit til the national interest, that Gretna an the surroondin auries becam a historical curiosity for a lang time. Unner the Defence of the Realm Act 1914 a State Management Scheme wis set up in 1916 tae bring the liquor industry, includin change-hooses an the local pundie-hooses unner Government control ower a wide aurie reakin as faur as Cairl an Maryport. The war Speeritless Sundays, an buyin onybody else a drink (shoutin) an heaters an coolers (drinkin beer an speerits in the same change-hoose) wis bannit. The change-keepers becam ceevil servands an wis instructit tae follae a disinterestit management policy an no allou fowk tae get bluitert in the change-hoose. The State Management Scheme persistit for mony years efter the First Warld War wis lang ower an the ammuneetion warks demolisht. It wisna until the early 1970s, whan the law prices an unadulteratit beer in the Grenta auria begoud tae become conspeecuous, that the government enterprise wis sauld aff by the Health government.

Geography an admeenistration


Gretna is in Dumfries an Gallowa, in the sooth o Scotland, on the A74(M) near the mairch tae England, an near the mooth o the River Esk.[5] The tounship is sindry fae the wee-er nearby veelage o Gretna Green, famous for mairiages, that mairches but is a separate aurie fae Gretna proper. Til the wast in Scotland is Eastriggs (aboot 5 mile til the wast) an Annan (aboot 8 mile to the wast), baith situatit on the B721 and linkit til the nearby A75 road.[5]



A military road wis built in 1763 by General George Wade linking Gretna tae Portpaitrick, than the main ferry port tae Northren Ireland.[6] This wis later tae become the route o muckle o the A75 road tae Stranrawer. Houiver, the A75 is a modren road, post-datin Warld War I. the oreeginal route atween Gretna an Annan is noo the B721 road, an the A75 sinders signeeficant fae it; siclike, the B724 road wis the oreeginal route atween Annan an Dumfries.[7]

In the 1840s, the war three main railwey companys buildin lines aroond Gretna an this his ootcam in three railwey stations name't "Gretna". The first station cried "Gretna" wis appent by the Glasgow, Dumfries and Carlisle Railway on 23 August 1843, this station wis rename't Gretna Green railwey station in 1852.[8] It wis closed on 6 December 1965, bit a new station wis appent by British Rail nearby on 20 September 1993; this station is served by Glasgow South Western Line.[8] This station hid a new platform addit in 2009, tae complouther wi the redooblin o this section o track. The tither twa stations wis locatit a short distance til the east o Gretna, ower the mairch in England. Gretna (Caledonian) railwey station wis appent on 9 September 1847 by the Caledonian Railway on its main line atween Cairl an Glesga an Edinburgh.[8] The station closed on 10 September 1951.[8] The North British Railway built Gretna (Border Union) railwey station nixt til the Caledonian Station, at Gretna infaw, on its short link tae the Border Union Railwey. The station appent on 1 November 1861 an closed durin Warld War I on 9 August 1915.[8]

The main Anglo-Scots trunk road rinnin north-sooth throu Gretna wis the A74 road. Wi the appenin o the M6 motorwey til the sooth o Cairl in December 1970,[9] a hantle o the A74 in Scotland wis upgradit tae motorwey standard in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and the upgradit sections o road wis rename't the A74(M). The sae-cried Cumberland Gap wis the remeenin 6 mile o no-upgradit dual-cairiagewey A74 atween the northren stance o the M6 at Cairl, and the soothren end o the A74(m) at the Scots mairch.

The A75 is a major trunk road heidin wast along the sooth coast o Scotland fae Gretna. Its eastlin stance at Gretna wis oreeginal the A74, bit this wis changed til a infaw wi the A74(M). The A75 rins passt Eastriggs, Annan, Dumfries, Castle Douglas, Gatehoose o Fleet, Newton Stewart, an Glenluce afore endin in the wast at Stranrawer.

Praisent day


A hantle o the local economy is driven by the mairiage industry, whaur by some accoonts, as mony as yin o ivery sax Scots weddins taks place in Gretna an Gretna Green. Maist mairiages tak place in Gretna itsel, at the Register Office, the Anvil Hall, or in the rowth o hottles in the centre o the toun. Gretna is an aw the location of the Gretna Gateway Outlet Village, a development o discoont factory shaps.

Thoosands o stirlins occasionally flee in flocks abuin Gretna. The birds gaither in flocks cried murmurations, havin migratit fae Roushie an Scandinavie tae escape the hersher winters there.

A nearby sculpture his been approved cried the Star of Caledonia.



Gretna was an aw the offeecial hame o the [[Gretna F.C. Gretna Fitbaw Club]], that played in the Scottish Premier League durin the 2007-8 saison, the club playin hame gemms at Fir Park, Mitherwall. The club reaked an aw the 2006 Scots Cup final. The risin financial problems saw the club relegatit fae the SPL at the end o the saison, them demotit tae Diveesion 3 o the Scottish Football League. Efter attempts tae find a buyer for the club pruived no successfu, Gretna hinderly resignt fae the SFL on 3 Juin 2008. A new club, Gretna F.C. 2008 his been foonded in its place. Rugby league his an aw a lairge follaein in the aurie.




  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.


  • 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.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • 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)