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Town Hall and Spa History

Moffat Town Hall

Moffat Town Hall is a Georgian sandstone and whinstone building, prominent half way up the High Street. It is the largest public building in Moffat and is managed by a Community Trust on behalf of the local residents.

The Hall was built as the Baths Hall in 1827 when Moffat was a favourite destination to 'take the waters'. The sulphurous water was piped down from Moffat Well a mile up the hills behind the Town and people could both drink and bathe in the waters. It was claimed to be efficacious for all sorts of ailments.

As the largest public building in Moffat, it has been, and is still, extensively used, and many famous artists have appeared on its stage in the past. It is famous for its weekly 'coffee mornings' which raise more than 20 000 for local and national charities. Since being taken over by the Community it is undergoing major refurbishment to make it one of the highlights of the High Street, and fit for use in the 21st Century. See below how the refurbishment is revealing some beautiful sandstone carving.

mthrt work in progress

Moffat as a Spa Town

The development of Moffat was based on 3 separate 'industries': sheep; as a staging post between England and Edinburgh; and as a Spa Town.

Moffat has no less than 3 wells scattered in the hillsides surrounding the town but it is the Moffat Well that brought it fame and prosperity. It was discovered by Rachel Whiteford in the 17th Century and word soon spread of the water's efficacious properties, despite its vile sulphurous [rotten eggs] taste and smell. Moffat was one of only a handful of Spa Towns in Scotland and was spoken of in the same terms as the more famous Harrogate and Bath in England.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Moffat was thronged with visitors staying to 'take the waters'. Much of the architecture of the town developed as a result of this tourist industry. One of the consequences of Moffat's fame as a Spa Town is the existence of the oldest pharmacy in Scotland, which still has many of its original shop fittings preserved. The Town Hall was built as the 'Baths Hall' to support the industry; and it is still possible to visit Moffat Well, a pleasant 1 mile stroll out of the town into the hills.

In connection with the redevelopment of Moffat Town Hall, there is a questionnaire for members of the Community to complete to have their say on various choices to be made in respect of Moffat Town Hall - including your preference for its name.

General information regarding the Trust can be accessed at the Moffat Town Hall Trust website.

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