"MOFFAT, a parish, watering-place, and market town, in the upper ward of Lanark, counties Dumfries and Lanark, Scotland. It comprises the post town of its own name, and extends about 15 miles from W. to E. in length, with an extreme breadth of 8½ miles. It is bounded by the parishes of Tweedsmuir, Megget, Ettrick, Eskdalemuir, Hutton, Wamphray, Kirkpatrick Juxta, and Crawford. The land is the highest in the district of Annandale, above half the parish being occupied by the loftiest mountains S. of the Forth and Clyde. The celebrated Alpine lake Lochakeen lies upwards of 1,000 feet above the level of the sea, and contains the finest species of trout in the S. of Scotland. The outlet of the waters of this lake is by the lofty cascade called the "Grey Mare's Tail," which, from the opposite side of the glen, appears to be one unbroken fall. Some of the summits of this elevated region are extensively wooded, others studded with natural clumps of oak, birch, and mountain ash. The grounds which are enclosed are partly cultivated and partly in pasture. A remarkably fine view is obtained from the gorge or glen called the "Bell Craig." In this parish are traces of Roman and British camps, border towers, &c.; also the Mote Hill. This parish is in the presbytery of Lochmaben and synod of Dumfries. The minister has a stipend of £279. The church was erected in 1790. Besides the parish church there is a Free church, also a parochial school and two private schools. The town of Moffat is distant about 19 miles N. of Dumfries, and 2 from the Beattock station on the Caledonian railway. It is situated under Hartfell and Errickstanebrae, on the Roman way, and near the confluence of the Evan and Moffat Water from which latter stream the town derives its name. The principal street - High-street - runs N. and S., and contains some good shops. The houses are well built, giving to the town a remarkably neat appearance. Handsome baths, with a reading-room attached, were erected in 1827. There are also a private hotel and several good inns. The greater part of the town has been built within the last half century, and is much resorted to in summer as a fashionable watering-place. The springs are three in number, comprising one sulphureous and two chalybeate. The sulphureous spring, called Moffat Well, is about 1 mile from the town, with which it is connected by an excellent carriage road. Its waters are considered particularly efficacious in scrofulous and scorbutic complaints, also as an antidote for gravel and rheumatism. The waters of the chalybeate spring, at Gartpool Lum, are much stronger than those of Hartfell, and consequently are taken in smaller doses, not more than a wineglassful at a time. About 4 miles N.W. from thence is a petrifying spring, besides numerous others of lesser note. Nearly one-half of the parish belongs to Johnston of Annandale. A weekly market is held, also fairs on the third Friday in March (old style), 29th July, and 20th October, or the following Tuesday."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]