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Dumfries and Galloway

Town Hall, Annan
©2019 Gazetteer for Scotland

Town Hall, Annan

Situated on the Solway Firth at the mouth of the River Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, the burgh of Annan lies 17 miles (25 km) southeast of Dumfries. Emerging as a burgh of barony in the 12th Century, Annan was the site of a mediaeval hospital and a castle built by the Bruce family. It was elevated to the status of a royal burgh in 1532 but was described by Daniel Defoe in the 1720s as 'in a state of irrevocable decay'. The founding of a cotton mill in 1785 signalled a turn in Annan's fortunes and during the 19th century it developed as a port with shipbuilding, engineering and whisky distilling industries. During the 20th century pharmaceuticals, knitwear, chipboard and food processing industries developed and between 1975 and 1996 Annan was the administrative centre of Annandale and Eskdale District. Buildings of note include the Town Hall (1878), Erskine Church (1835), Old Annan Academy and Annan Bridge, built by Robert Stevenson in 1824-26. Annan's Justice of the Peace Court closed in 2013, with its work transferred to Dumfries. The African explorer Hugh Clapperton and the evangelist Edward Irving were born in Annan and the writer Thomas Carlyle, born in Ecclefechan, was schooled at the Academy.

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