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Annan, Dumfries and Galloway facts for kids

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  • Scottish Gaelic: [Anainn] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help)
  • Scots: [Annan] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help)
Annan is located in Dumfries and Galloway
Population 8,760 (2020)
OS grid reference NY 192 661
• Edinburgh 67 mi (108 km)
• London 273 mi (439 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town ANNAN
Postcode district DG12
Dialling code 01461
Police Dumfries and Galloway
Fire Dumfries and Galloway
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale
Scottish Parliament
  • Dumfriesshire
List of places
54°58′59″N 3°15′58″W / 54.983°N 3.266°W / 54.983; -3.266
Annan, Mote of Annan. Motte and Bailey Castle on right
Annan, with Mote of Annan to the right
Annan river bridge - Oct 2006
Annan River road bridge

Annan ( AN-ən; Scottish Gaelic: [Inbhir Anainn] Error: {{Lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) is a town and former royal burgh in Dumfries and Galloway, south-west Scotland. Historically part of Dumfriesshire, its public buildings include Annan Academy, of which the writer Thomas Carlyle was a pupil, and a Georgian building now known as "Bridge House". The Town Hall was built in Victorian style in 1878, using the local sandstone. Annan also features a Historic Resources Centre. In Port Street, some of the windows remain blocked up to avoid paying the window tax.

Each year on the first Saturday in July, Annan celebrates the Royal Charter and the boundaries of the Royal Burgh are confirmed when a mounted cavalcade undertakes the Riding of the Marches. Entertainment includes a procession, sports, field displays and massed pipe bands.


Annan stands on the River Annan—from which it is named—nearly 2 miles (3 kilometres) from its mouth, accessible to vessels of 60 tons as far as Annan Bridge and 300 tons within 12 mi (800 m) of the city. It is 15 mi (24 km) from Dumfries by rail, in the region of Dumfries and Galloway on the Solway Firth in the south of Scotland. Eastriggs is about 3 mi (5 km) to the east and Gretna is about 8 mi (13 km) to the east.


Roman remains exist nearby.

Annan Castle formed the original home of the "de Brus" family, later known as the "Bruces", lords of Annandale, which most famously produced Robert the Bruce. It was at Annan in December 1332 that Bruce supporters overwhelmed Balliol's forces to bring about the end of the first invasion of Scotland in the Second War of Scottish Independence. The Balliols and the Douglases were also more or less closely associated with Annan.

During the period of the Border lawlessness the inhabitants suffered repeatedly at the hands of moss-troopers and through the feuds of rival families, in addition to the losses caused by the Scottish Wars of Independence. During his retreat from Derby, Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed in the High Street at the inn where L'Auberge now stands.

With the river embanked, Annan served as a maritime town whose shipyards built many clippers and other boats. A cairn on the jetty commemorates Robert Burns, who worked as an exciseman here in the 1790s. Although the port is now mainly dry, a few stranded boats remain.

Annan Academy has a history that goes back to the 17th century Its current campus on St John's Road primarily dates to the 1960s.

After the Acts of Union 1707, Annan, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Lochmaben and Sanquhar formed the Dumfries district of burghs, returning one member between them to the House of Commons of Great Britain. Annan previously formed a constituency of the Parliament of Scotland and the Convention of Estates. In 1871, the Dumfries Burghs had a population of 3172 and the royal burgh of Annan, 4174, governed by a provost and 14 councillors. A Harbour Trust was established in 1897 to improve the port.

By 1901, the population was 5805, living principally in red sandstone buildings.

The train turntable was designed and developed in Annan; it can be seen today in the York Railway Museum.


Just outside the town, the Chapelcross nuclear power station has now shut down and is being decommissioned. The four cooling towers were demolished in 2007.

Nearby, John Maxwell, 4th Lord Herries, built Hoddom Castle (c. 1552–1565).

To the east of the town lies the settlement of Watchill and the similarly named Watchhall.

Part of the A75, between Annan and Dumfries, is reported to be haunted.


Annandale distillery has now officially re-opened in Annan, which last produced a Lowland Malt 90 years ago, although it is still in early stages.


Annan is served by several churches of different denominations, including:

  • Annan Old Parish Church, High Street (Church of Scotland)
  • St. Andrew's Parish Church, Bank Street (Church of Scotland)
  • Annan URC, Station Road (United Reformed Church)
  • St. John's Church, St. John's Road (Scottish Episcopal Church)
  • St. Columba's Church, 40 Scotts Street (Catholic Church)

There is also a local interchurch group, known as Annandale Churches Together.


Annan Bridge, a stone bridge of three arches, built between 1824 and 1827, carries road traffic over the River Annan. It was designed by Robert Stevenson and built by John Lowry. There is also a railway bridge and a nearby pedestrian bridge over the Annan. It is still served by the Annan railway station, the old Solway Junction Railway station Annan Shawhill having closed to passengers in 1931 and freight in 1955. Newbie Junction Halt railway station briefly served the old Newbie Tile and Brickworks as well as the Cochran's Boiler Works that stood on the short Newbie Branch.

Outdoor activity

Annandale Way is a 53 mi (85 km) walking route that was opened in September 2009. The route runs through Annandale, from the source of the River Annan to the sea; it passes through the town of Annan and offers interesting walking both up river and down from the town.



In the 19th century, Annan was connected to the Glasgow & South Western Railway, the Caledonian Railway, and the Solway Junction Railway. It exported cured hams, cattle, sheep, and grain to England; it also produced cotton goods, ropes, ships, and salmon. By the First World War, it was also a center of bacon-curing, distilling, tanning, sandstone quarrying, and nursery-gardening.


Murray Terriers SC badge
Murray Terriers SC, previously Border Terriers FC

The town is very active in sport in the local community.

  • Annan Athletic F.C. are the local men's semi-professional football team that play at Galabank Stadium in the SPFL League Two. The club also have a women's team and various youth teams.
  • Solway Star F.C. were a Scottish Football League team that played at Summergate before moving to Kimmeter Park Green and then Mafeking Park.
  • Annan F.C. played in three seasons of the Scottish Cup from 1878 to 1890.
  • Annan Town A.F.C. and F.C. Annan both play in the Dumfries Sunday Amateur Football League
  • Murray Terriers SC are a virtual sports club
  • Annan R.F.C. - Rugby Union
  • Annan Alligators - Swimming
  • ADAC - Athletics


Annan is served by four primary schools and one secondary school.

  • Newington Primary School has the largest number of pupils out of all in the town, bar Annan Academy. Located in the Newington area, it takes pride in its red uniform.
  • Hecklegirth Primary School has the second largest number of pupils and it is situated in the Hecklegirth area adjacent to Annan Academy. The school's colours are grey and royal blue.
  • Elmvale Primary School is much less smaller than the above two and is situated in Elmvale/The Welldale area of the town near Annan Railway Station. Elmvale's colours are green and yellow.
  • St. Columba's RC Primary School is Annan's only Roman Catholic specific school situated in Eastside. They sport blue as their main colour with white and yellow also represented.
  • Annan Academy is the town's secondary school that covers the whole of South Annandale. Feeder schools for the academy are Newington (Annan), Hecklegirth (Annan), Elmvale (Annan), St. Columba's RC (Annan), Gretna, Brydekirk, Eastriggs, Carrutherstown, Springfield, Kirkpatrick Fleming and Cummertrees. Students from Ecclefechan have been known to attend Annan Academy.
  • Many children from Annan recently have decided to choose to attend Lockerbie Academy due to its modern new building and facilities.
  • Dumfries & Galloway College located in Dumfries is a popular place for further education for students from Annan.

Notable people

  • Andy Aitken – professional footballer best known for his long service with Queen of the South F.C.
  • Cameron Bell – ex-footballer who played for Kilmarnock F.C., Rangers F.C. and Scotland national football team among others.
  • Thomas Blacklock - (1721–1791), Scottish poet.
  • Thomas Carlyle
  • David Gow - engineer
  • Edward Irving - there is a statue of him in the grounds of Annan Old Parish Church. The statue was relocated from outside the town hall in the 1960s.
  • Ashley Jensen – actress, best known for her roles in Extras and Ugly Betty.
  • George Johnston – Leader of the New South Wales rum rebellion, briefly Lieutenant-Governor there
  • David Leslie (racing driver)
  • William Ewart Lockhart (1846–1900) – artist
  • Robert Murray M'Cheyne – preacher, ordained by the Annan Presbytery.
  • David Payne (1843–1894) – landscape artist.
  • Jim Wallace, MSP for Orkney between 1999 - 2007 and the Deputy First Minister of Scotland between 1999 - 2005, born in Annan.
  • Hardy Wright – greyhound trainer who lived initially at Watchhall, responsible for bringing the Barbican Cup (coursing) to Scotland for the first time.
  • Jack Wright – coursing enthusiast, who lived at Watchhall, father of Hardy Wright.

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See also

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