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ANNAN - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"ANNAN, a parish, seaport market town, and royal and parliamentary borough, in the county of Dumfries, Scotland, 16 miles to the E. of Dumfries and 79 to the S. of Edinburgh. It is a station on the Glasgow and South Western railway. The town stands on the left bank of the river Annan, which enters the Solway Frith a mile below the town. It includes part of the quoad sacra parish of Brydekirk. Annan is a place of great antiquity. A castle was built here by the Bruces, who were lords of Annandale. The first charter of incorporation was granted by Robert Bruce in 1306, and the privileges of the burgh were more perfectly defined by a charter of James V. in 1538. The charter was renewed by James VI. in 1612. Annan suffered much and frequently from the border wars. In 1298 it was burnt by the English, and was often plundered. The town, which comprises 631 houses, inhabited by 857 separate families, consists of several streets the principal one being in the line of road from Carlisle to Dumfries. The streets are paved, and the houses well built. There is a town-house at the vest end of the town, and its environs are studded with many beautiful villas, giving the place an appearance of cheerfulness and prosperity. A handsome bridge of three arches was erected over the Annan in 1826, the old bridge having been previously removed. Vessels of 300 tons can unload in the river, and small vessels can discharge their cargoes at the town. The port is subordinate to Dumfries, and the ships belonging to it, about thirty sail, comprising an aggregate of 2,500 tons burden, are principally engaged in the coasting trade. Two or three trade to America and the Baltic. Before the opening of the railway there were two steamers to Liverpool. There is a convenient quay. The chief exports are corn, bacon, timber, &c.; the chief imports coal, slate, herrings, &c. The cotton manufacture, gingham-weaving, ship-building, and the fisheries give occupation to many of the inhabitants. Vessels of upwards of 1,000 tons burden have been built here. Annan is one of the five contributory boroughs to Dumfries, in returning one representative to parliament. The municipal and parliamentary constituency in 1852 was 191. It is governed by a provost, three bailies, and eleven councillors, and has a revenue of about £430. Annan is the seat of a presbytery. The living, value £279, is in the patronage of Johnstone of Annandale. The church, which was built in 1790, is a handsome edifice, with an elegant spire. A new church has been erected, the living of which is in the gift of the managers. There are places of worship belonging to the Episcopalians, Free Church, United Presbyterians, Roman Catholics, and Independents. There is a mechanics' institute, with a good library, reading-room, and lecture hall. The academy, erected in 1820 in Ednam-street is a large establishment, conducted by two masters. The surface of this parish is generally level, but there are three lines of low hills running through it in the same direction. The course of the river lies between two of these, and through very picturesque scenery. The Dumfries and Carlisle railway crosses the river here on a substantial stone viaduct, and afterwards enters a deep cutting, on emerging from which it discloses a magnificent view of the bosom and land-screens of the Solway Frith. Part of the parish consists of moorland. There are quarries of limestone, and freestone. Annan is the birthplace of Dr. Blacklock, the poet, of Hugh Clapperton, the African traveller, and of Edward Irving, the celebrated preacher. The market is held on Thursday, and fairs for hiring servants on the first Thursday in May, and the third Thursday in October. The parish extends over an area of 16,000 acres, and the town, according to the census of 1861, contains 3,473 inhabitants, of whom 622 are children under 15 years of age, entered on the school books."

"BRYDEKIRK, a village and quoad sacra parish in the parishes of Annan, Cummertrees, and Hoddam, in the county of Dumfries, Scotland, 3 miles to the N. W. of the town of Annan. The living is in the presbytery of Annan, and in the gift of the subscribers and others."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]