Dumfries and Galloway

Star Hotel, Moffat
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Star Hotel, Moffat

A burgh in Annandale, Dumfries and Galloway created in 1643, Moffat is situated 19 miles (30.5 km) northeast of Dumfries on the River Annan. From the late 1650s it developed as a spa town associated with the Moffat Well and, from 1748, the Hartfell Spa, attracting visitors including Robert Burns (1759-96). The fabric of the town is mostly from the late 18th Century when its main street was broadened (claimed to be the widest in Scotland) and its popularity grew in the mid 19th century with the opening of the Beattock Railway (1847) between Carlisle and Edinburgh and Glasgow. Today the town is a sheep farming centre, and is popular as a holiday resort. Its spa is no longer in use, but Moffat Well can be visited 1¼ miles (2 km) north of the village.

Notable structures include the Colvin Fountain (1875), the old parish church with a mediaeval fragment, St. Cuthbert's Chapel (13th century, a half-mile (1 km) west), the Proudfoot Institute (1885), the Town Hall (1827, originally Moffat Baths), a War Memorial and Moffat House (1767, by John Adam for the Earl of Hopetoun). The Star Hotel claims the record for the narrowest hotel in the world and Chapel Street was once quoted as the shortest street in Scotland, a record now held by the town of Wick.

Attractions include the Moffat Museum, the Moffat Woollen Mill and Tweedhope Sheepdogs where demonstrations and private tuition for shepherding are available. Lord Dowding (1882 - 1970), Air Chief Marshal during the Battle of Britain, and comedian Danny Bhoy (b.1975) were natives of Moffat, while residents have included naturalist Rev. Prof. John Walker (1730 - 1803), James Macpherson (1736-96), the author of 'Ossian', road-builder John Loudon MacAdam (1756 - 1836) and philanthropist Stephen Mitchell (1789 - 1874). The poet Robert Burns (1759-96) visited often.

Nearby are Auchen Castle, the village of Beattock, the forest of Craigieburn (5 miles (8 km) northeast), Craiglochan Gardens (2 miles (3 km) east), the Devil's Beef Tub (5 miles (8 km) north) and the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall (10 miles (16 km) northeast). Fishing is available at the Moffat Fishery and there is an 18 hole golf course.

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