Moffat from the surrounding hills
|Population||2,410 (mid-2020 est.)|
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Moffat (Scottish Gaelic : Mofad) is a burgh and parish in Dumfriesshire, now part of the Dumfries and Galloway local authority area in Scotland. It lies on the River Annan, with a population of around 2,500. It was a centre of the wool trade and a spa town.
Moffat is around 59 miles (95 kilometres) to the southeast of Glasgow, 51 miles (82 kilometres) southwest of Edinburgh, 21 miles (34 kilometres) northeast of Dumfries and 44 miles (71 kilometres) northwest of Carlisle.
The Moffat House Hotel, located at the northern end of the High Street, was designed by John Adam. The nearby Star Hotel, a mere 20 ft (6 m) wide, was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the narrowest hotel in the world. Moffat won the Britain in Bloom contest in 1996.
Moffat is home to Moffat toffee.
The town is held to be the ancestral seat of Clan Moffat. The Devil's Beef Tub near Moffat was used by the members of Clan Moffat and later the members of Clan Johnstone to hoard cattle stolen in predatory raids.
From 1633 Moffat began to grow from a small village into a popular spa town. The sulphurous and saline waters of Moffat Spa were believed to have healing properties, specifically curative for skin conditions, gout, rheumatism and stomach complaints.In 1730 these were complemented by the addition of iron springs. During the Victorian era the high demand led to the water being piped down from the well to a tank in Tank Wood and on to a specially built bath house in the town centre (Moffat Town Hall).
Luxurious hotels sprang up to accommodate the increasing numbers of tourists. One such hotel opened during Moffat's heyday in 1878, Moffat's Hydropathic hotel was destroyed in a fire in 1921.
The old well was refurbished in the mid 1990s, and is still accessible by vehicle and foot. The water smells very strongly of sulphur, with deposits on the walls and well itself. At the grand reopening of the well, people visiting were encouraged to drink a glass full.
The well can be reached by following Haywood Road and climbing up Tank Wood (on the right at the top): the path at the end was the original route to the well. An alternative is to drive or walk up Well Road, and eventually, one reaches the Well Cottage and the car park for the well. As stated, when the water was first piped into town for the baths, it was pumped uphill to a tank in the appropriately named Tank Wood, before travelling back downhill to the bath house.
Larchhill Well was a chalybeate well located on Old Well Road near Wellwoodhead Cottage. The well is no longer visible.
The name of the town Moffat is the anglicised form of an endonym, of Gaelic origin. This quasi-place-name has been theorized to be translated as "the long plain," which could be derived from two elements: magh ("plain") and fada ("long").The area of Moffat lies at the head of the plain of Annandale which stretches south as far as the eye can see from the hills above Moffat.
Moffat is in the parliamentary constituency of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, David Mundell is the current Conservative Party member of parliament.
It is part of the South Scotland region in the Scottish Parliament, being in the constituency of Dumfriesshire. Oliver Mundell of the Conservatives is the MSP.
Prior to Brexit, for the European Parliament its residents voted to elect MEPs for the Scotland constituency.
Moffat was a notable market in the wool trade, and this is commemorated with a statue of a ram by William Brodie in the town's marketplace. The ram was presented to the town by William Colvin, a local businessman, in 1875. The ram's ears are missing, as they have been since it was first presented.
Robert Burns came for the waters and frequented the local bars.
The infamous murderer William Hare may have stayed in the Black Bull Hotel during his escape to Ireland after turning King's evidence against William Burke in the Burke and Hare murders.
John Loudon McAdam, Scottish engineer and road-builder, died in Moffat and is buried there.
In 1935, the remains of the victims of the Lancaster murderer, Dr Buck Ruxton, were found in a stream near The Devil's Beef Tub. A landmark case in legal history, it was the first in which the murderer was successfully convicted using the type of highly sophisticated forensic techniques which are taken for granted in the 21st century. The bridge at the top is still used to this day - near the very top it is a switchback that is not quite wide enough for two vehicles to pass on. The area is colloquially known as "Ruxton's Dump". The bridge from which Ruxton threw the parcelled remains has been straightened and widened; Gardenholme Linn, the deep wooded defile into which the packages were thrown is on the east side of the road (A701).
Samuel Wallace, a Victoria Cross recipient, died in the town.
The town attracts many tourists all year round, both as visitors and as walkers in the surrounding hills. Notable buildings include the Annandale Arms Hotel and Restaurant which has been awarded several AA rosettes, Real and Local Food medals and four stars from Food Review Scotland.
Shops include the Moffat Toffee Shop and The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, while its restaurants and cafes include The Bombay Cuisine, Claudio's, Arietes, The Rumblin' Tum, The Balmoral and the Buccleuch Arms Hotel and Restaurant. The Buccleuch has also been awarded Gold in Visitscotland's Green Tourism Business Scheme.
Moffat also has a recreation park with a boating pond and a memorial to Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding.
There is an official Camping and Caravanning Club campsite (for tents, caravans and motorhomes) that is open all year as of 13 March 2008. This is situated next to the Hammerlands Centre - a combination garden centre, gift shop, restaurant, fish farm and children's play area with farmyard animals.
For walkers there is also the Gallow Hill. Moffat is also situated only a few miles from the Southern Upland Way where it passes through Beattock, and the Sir Walter Scott Way starts here.
Northeast of Moffat is the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall. This hanging-valley waterfall is 60m tall and lies within a nature reserve.
Moffat Academy teaches pupils of Nursery, Primary and Secondary School age, there are currently just over 520 pupils taught at the school. It was in its former location in the north of the town since 1834. In February 2010 the school moved to a new site in the south-east of the town on Jeff Brown Drive.
Moffat RFC caters for all ages. The 1st XV plays in the Scottish Rugby Union league structure. They are also known as "The Rams" after the statue in the High Street. The ground wholly owned by the club is situated at The Holm, Selkirk Road.
Moffat's main football club is Upper Annandale F.C., who represent the town in the South of Scotland Football League.
Moffat Golf Club was founded in 1884.In 1904, Ben Sayers of North Berwick was invited to design the present 18-hole course. Located high on Coats Hill overlooking the town, it is some 670 feet above sea level.
A 53-mile (85 km) long-distance walking route called Annandale Way running through Annandale (from the source of the River Annan to the sea) was opened in September 2009. The route passes very close to the town of Moffat, and a diversion from it into the town adds very little in distance.
The nearby Moffat Hillsoffer many walking routes, and the town itself is the closest base for access to these hills.
Dumfries is a market town and former royal burgh within the Dumfries and Galloway council area of Scotland. It is located near the mouth of the River Nith into the Solway Firth about 25 miles (40 km) by road from the Anglo-Scottish border and just 15 miles (24 km) away from Cumbria by air. Dumfries is the county town of the historic county of Dumfriesshire.
Dumfries and Galloway is one of 32 unitary council areas of Scotland and is located in the western Southern Uplands. It comprises the historic counties of Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, and Wigtownshire, the latter two of which are collectively known as Galloway. The administrative centre and largest settlement is the town of Dumfries. The second largest town is Stranraer, 75 miles to the west on the North Channel coast.
Brodick is the main village on the Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It is halfway along the east coast of the island, in Brodick Bay below Goat Fell, the tallest mountain on Arran. The name is derived from the Norse "breda-vick" meaning "Broad Bay".
Langholm, also known colloquially as the "Muckle Toon", is a burgh in Dumfries and Galloway, southern Scotland. Langholm lies between four hills in the valley of the River Esk in the Southern Uplands.
Dumfriesshire or the County of Dumfries is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area of southern Scotland.
The River Annan is a river in south-west Scotland. It rises on Annanhead Hill and flows through the Devil's Beef Tub, Moffat and Lockerbie, reaching the sea at Annan, Dumfries and Galloway after about 40 miles.
Annandale is a strath in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, named after the dale of the River Annan. It runs north–south through the Southern Uplands from Annanhead to Annan on the Solway Firth, and in its higher reaches it separates the Moffat hills on the east from the Lowther hills to the west. A 53-mile (85 km) long-distance walking route called Annandale Way running through Annandale was opened in September 2009.
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale is a constituency of the House of Commons, located in the South of Scotland, within the Dumfries and Galloway, South Lanarkshire and Scottish Borders council areas. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) at least once every five years using the First-past-the-post system of voting. It is currently represented in Westminster by the former Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, a Conservative, who has been the MP since 2005.
Annan 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". Annan also features a Historic Resources Centre. In Port Street, some of the windows remain blocked up to avoid paying the window tax.
Lochmaben is a small town and civil parish in Scotland, and site of a castle. It lies 4 miles (6 km) west of Lockerbie, in Dumfries and Galloway. By the 12th century the Bruce family had become the local landowners and, in the 14th century, Edward I rebuilt Lochmaben Castle. It was subsequently taken by Archibald Douglas, 3rd Earl of Douglas in 1384/5 and was abandoned in the early 17th century. The town itself became a Royal Burgh in 1447.
The Southern Upland Way is a 344-kilometre (214 mi) coast-to-coast long-distance footpath in southern Scotland. The route links Portpatrick in the west and Cockburnspath in the east via the hills of the Southern Uplands. The Way is designated as one of Scotland's Great Trails by NatureScot and is the longest of the 29 Great Trails. The Southern Upland Way meets with seven of the other Great Trails: the Annandale Way, the Berwickshire Coastal Path, the Borders Abbeys Way, the Cross Borders Drove Road, the Mull of Galloway Trail, the Romans and Reivers Route and St Cuthbert's Way.
Beattock is a village in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, approximately 1⁄2 mile southwest of Moffat and 19 miles north of Dumfries.
The Annandale Way is a 90-kilometre (56 mi) hiking trail in Scotland, which is officially designated by NatureScot as one of Scotland's Great Trails. It follows the valley of the River Annan from its source in the Moffat Hills to the sea in the Solway Firth south of the town of Annan. The route, which was established on 12 September 2009, has been designed to be traversable in four to five days as a continuous walk but it also offers several day-walks. Overnight stops can be arranged in small market towns and villages along the route such as Moffat, Johnstonebridge, Lochmaben, Lockerbie, or Annan. The route has been developed by Sulwath Connections and local communities, with the support of local estates and farmers, to help promote Annandale as a new area for walking. Its trailheads are near the Devil's Beef Tub in the Moffat Hills and on the Solway Firth just south of Annan, in Newbie.
The Moffat Hills are a range of hills in the Southern Uplands of Scotland. They form a roughly triangular shape with a west facing side, a north facing side, and a south-east facing side. It is 17 kilometres from east to west across this triangle and some 16 kilometres north to south. The highest point is White Coomb at 821 m (2694 ft). The town of Moffat lies just south of the Moffat hills and along with Tweedsmuir, at the northern extremity, is the only centre of population around these hills. In some older maps, the northern part of the Moffat Hills is called the Tweedsmuir Hills, but can also be known by the title Manor Hills.
The Lowther Hills, also sometimes known as the Lowthers, are an extensive area of hill country in the Southern Uplands of Scotland, though some sub-ranges of hills in this area also go under their own local names - see "Hillwalking" below. They form a roughly rhomboidal or lozenge shape on the map with the acute angles being to north and south. It has river valleys along its boundaries to north east (Clydesdale) and south west (Nithsdale) which carry the two largest arterial routes northwards into the west side of the Central Belt of Scotland. A string of small towns have long since developed along these routes. Most of the Lowther Hills lie in the Administrative County of Dumfries and Galloway, though part in the administrative county of South Lanarkshire moves into them around the village of Leadhills and the Daer Reservoir.
The Fairmont St Andrews Bay is a 5 star resort hotel situated 2 miles (3.2 km) outside the town of St Andrews in Fife, Scotland. The hotel is managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and owned by a company led by Great Century.
Moffat railway station was a station and the terminus of a short branch line which served Moffat, in the Scottish county of Dumfries and Galloway. It was served by trains from the junction at the now closed Beattock
The Romans and Reivers Route is a long-distance path in southern Scotland, linking the Forest of Ae in Dumfries and Galloway with Hawick in the Scottish Borders. The route, which is 84 km long, uses forest tracks, drovers' roads and some sections of public road to link Roman roads across the border country of Scotland. It takes its name from these roads, and the fact that it passes through areas associated with the Border Reivers, the name given to cattle raiders along the Anglo-Scottish border between late 13th century to the beginning of the 17th century. The route is intended to be suitable for walkers, cyclists and horseriders, having been specifically developed to include features such as self-closing gates.
Kirkpatrick-Juxta is a parish in Dumfries and Galloway on the A701, between Biggar, Moffat and Lockerbie. The parish straddles the main road A74 (M). It is primarily a rural parish. One source describes its name as meaning "the lands next to the church of St Patrick". Another source describes it as the church of St. Patrick named in the 15th century as closest to the See of Glasgow. Another source says the original name was Kilpatrick.