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Gretna

(Gretna Township)
Dumfries and Galloway

Bingo Hall, Gretna
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Bingo Hall, Gretna

The modern village of Gretna (or Gretna Township) is located about a mile (1.5 km) northwest of the Scottish/English border, a similar distance south of Gretna Green and 8 miles (12 km) east of Annan in Dumfries and Galloway Council Area. The first 20th-century government-sponsored new town in Britain, Gretna was a social experiment, built on 'garden city' principles from 1915 to accommodate workers employed in an immense munitions factory lying around the village. A self-contained community, it was laid out by notable architects of the day, Raymond Unwin and Courtenay Crickmer, complete with a central meeting hall, school, cinema, churches and shops. Different classes of houses were built for workers of differing status, but all had electricity, running water and inside toilets. The public houses in the area were all government-controlled, still operated by the Carlisle State Brewery until 1972.

Gretna became the model for the 'Homes Built for Heroes' programme after the First World War but today it is predominately a commuter village. A new Registry Office was built here in 1991 to support nearby Gretna Green, the world-famous centre for weddings and site of the noted Blacksmith Shop Centre. A half-mile (1 km) east of Gretna is the Old Toll Bar, the first house in Scotland, and a mile (1.5 km) to the southwest is the Lochmaben Stane (or Clochmabenstane) dating from the second or third millennium BC. Twenty of Gretna's inhabitants were killed or injured in an air-raid on the 7th April 1941, and there is a memorial to their loss in the centre of the village.

Gretna Football Club came to national attention in 2006 when they rose from the Third Division to reach the Scottish Cup Final in the space of just a year.


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