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Historical Interest

Much has been written about Moffat over the years and two books in particular give an interesting insight into how Moffat became the popular tourist town it is today.

For instance, according to Graham's Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century: "In spring there meet round the little wells of Moffat a throng in their gayest and brightest from society in town and country, sipping their sulphur waters and discussing their pleasant gossip ... city clergy, men of letters, country gentlemen and ladies of fashion and the diseased and decrepit of the poorest rank, who had toilsomely travelled from far-off districts to taste the magic waters."

More recently, local historian Emilio Dicerbo, in his "Memories of Moffat" book tells that: "In the seventeenth century, Moffat's transformation from a poor 'Brigadoon' - like village to the beginning of a popular Spa town occurred". The sulphurous waters of Moffat Spa were believed to have healing properties and as more and more people flocked to Moffat, the "healing waters" were piped from the well to the "Baths Hall" (now the Town Hall).

The demands of those early visitors led to the building of a number of hotels. A particular Georgian exterior can be seen at the Annandale Arms Hotel on the High Street.

Later, in 1878, the Moffat Hydropathic Hotel that epitomised the Spa Heritage of Moffat was built on the road leading to the Beeftub. Sadly it was destroyed by fire in 1921 In it's heyday this palatial hotel contained over three hundred bedrooms, elegantly furnished drawing room and luxurious lounge. The spacious dining room seated three hundred diners in lavish surroundings.

hydropathic hotel

A fascinating piece of information was reproduced in our local Moffat News:

In 1837, Moffat residents were described as 'particularly clean and decent'.
The Statistical Account of the year also revealed that:

  • "Their language is among the best samples of English to be found in any Scottish village."
  • "There is hardly any smuggling or poaching, and low and gross acts of immorality are seldom heard of in Moffat

The Account also revealed that:

Curling, bowling and billiards were popular sports

A subscription and circulating library operated locally

There were 2 daily newspapers

No houses were uninhabited

Moffat supported 50 weavers, 6 shoemakers, 6 tailors and 8 merchants

Moffat also supported 1 watchmaker, 2 bakers, 5 masons, 6 wrights and 1 surgeon.

Find out more:

Beechwood school

Click on photo to find out more about Moffat's Educational Heritage


Visit the Annandale Arms Hotel plus our many other accommodation providers

annandale arms directory

Click on the photograph to see the great range of accommodation Moffat now has

An hotel built in the Georgian era

things to do
places to stay
places to eat
Places to Shop