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The World Famous Old Blacksmith's Shop Attractions

Gretna Green
Dumfries and Galloway
DG16 5EA

Gretna Green - a story of romance

When people hear the name Gretna Green their thoughts often step back in time to the history of runaway marriages. The Old Blacksmith's Shop is at the heart of this fascinating tradition.

Runaway marriages began in 1754 when an Act was passed which stated that if both parties to a marriage were not at least 21 years old then consent to the marriage had to be given by the parents. This Act did not apply in Scotland, where it was, and still is, possible to get married at 16 years old, with or without parental consent.

This led to many "elopers" fleeing England and their angry parents to get married in Scotland.

Gretna Green was the first village they would have arrived at. The Blacksmith's Shop, the focal point of the village became the centre of the marriage trade. The Blacksmith's Anvil thus became the symbol of runaway weddings as not only were metals joined together on the heat of the fire but couples were also joined in marriage in the heat of the moment.

The Gretna Green Story - The Legend Lives On

The Blacksmith's Shop, built around 1712, was opened to the public for the first time in 1886. No stop at Gretna Green would be complete without a visit.

As you step inside the Award winning Gretna Green Story Exhibition, imagine the hopes and fears of the young elopers as they plan their daring dash. Will the marriage take place without bloodshed? Will the angry father arrive in time to stop the marriage? Soak up the atmosphere and the sounds of the building that has seen so much and has so much to tell.

Following recent law changes, it is once again possible to have the legal wedding ceremony here, and more and more couples are benefitting from this. The wheel has thus turned full circle.

To complete your visit you can become part of the legend and take part in an anvil wedding ceremony or have your wedding vows blessed in this most romantic of buildings.

The museum shop, housed adjacent to the collection of horse-drawn carriages, offers a unique collection of merchandise which is recognised as one of Scotland's most unusual.

The Tartan Shop

Scotland is famous for its cashmeres, woollens and tartans. Our internationally renowned Tartan Shop presents the finest independent collection of Scottish merchandise in the country, as well as a mouth-watering range of products in the Food Hall, and a vast array of china, crystal, giftware and other Scottish products.

The Old Smithy Restaurant

If you are seeking a relaxing coffee break or a full meal, the centre's restaurant offer a wide range of freshly prepared meals and snacks.

Whisky House

Connoisseurs and aficionados alike will enjoy a browse through the Whisky House. With the new tasting bar you now have the chance to taste some of the very rarest old malts.

Foodhall at Gretna Green

A taste discovery - you will find an abundance of fresh local produce and a cornucopia of food gifts, wines, beers and much more. Plus regular cookery demonstrations and meet the producers days.

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Directions

We are 10 miles north of Carlisle, just over the border into Scotland. To find us, simply look for the brown tourist attraction signs to the "Old Blacksmith's Shop Visitor Centre".

The World Famous Old Blacksmith's Shop Attractions Postcode for SatNav: DG16 5EA

Contact

 
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+44 (0)1461 338 441
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+44 (0)1461 338 442
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