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Annan, General

Burgh (Medieval), Town (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Annan, General

Classification Burgh (Medieval), Town (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 68247

Site Number NY16NE 133

NGR NY 1950 6650

NGR Description Centred NY 1950 6650

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Dumfries And Galloway
  • Parish Annan
  • Former Region Dumfries And Galloway
  • Former District Annandale And Eskdale
  • Former County Dumfries-shire

Archaeology Notes

NY16NE 133 centred 1950 6650


For (1989) trial excavation at 3 Bridgend (NY 1912 6655), see NY16NE 136.

According to the Lanercost Chronicle, St Malachy (c. 1148) cursed the Bruce family and Annan, as a result of which it ceased to be a burgh. This may have happened about the end of the 12th century when the river washed away part of Annan castle and Lochmaben became the chief place of Annandale. There are frequent documentary references in the 13th century to the villa of Annan but the burgh reappears only in an assignmnent of terce on 29 August 1296 which shows that that it was held of the Bruce lords of Annandale. It presumably passed to Thomas Randolph, earl of Moray and lord of Annandale, and is referred to as a burgh in 1347, but thereafter nothing is known of its history until it reappears as a royal burgh in 1532. It presumably passed to the crown on the extinction of the main line of the earls of Douglas in 1440.

Annan, like Lochmaben (NY08SE 34) a Bruce burgh towards the end of the 13th century, is not well documented for later times. Its earliest surviving charter is a re-erection by James V on 1 March 1538/9 in burgum liberum with the usual privileges of a royal burgh, but George Neilson cited a private document as proof that the town was indeed a royal burgh by 1532. It sought admission to Convention in 1604 and was duly enrolled the following year; it was in Parliament from 1612.

G S Pryde 1965.

Annan is the chief town of Annandale, first mentioned as a baronial burgh (the caput of the barony of Annandale) in 1296 and passed into regaility in 1314. Burned by the English in 1298 and came under English control in the 1330's during the 'second phase' of the Wars of Independence, but was recovered in 1385 by Archibald the Grim, Earl of Douglas. It may have passed to the crown on the extinction of the main line of the Earls of Douglas in 1440, but was re-erected by James V on 1 March 1538/9. The town (which was probably mainly of timber construction) was burned again by Lord Dacre in 1514 and further devastated by Lord Wharton in 1547. The economic state of the town remained low and stable throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, but it was later re-developed and rebuilt on the basis of fishing, industry and overseas trade. There was apparently no municipal organisation before the late 16th century.

A T Simpson and S Stevenson 1981.

Small town near the mouth of the River Annan founded in the late 12th century as a burgh of barony under the superiority of the Bruces, lords of Annandale, who had a castle (NY16NE 4) here.

J Gifford 1996.


Council of the Burgh of Annan pledges and consigns William, Earl of Annandale, the yearly customs and meadow rents of the burgh until he is reimbursed for advances made by him for completing the bridge, to the mason, John Lochore.

1701 GD 1/510/57

Thomas Boyd - specification of bridge in Annan.

Architecture Notes

NY16NE 133 centred 1950 6650



Earnock Manuscripts 2 no 32 - 1 engraving


Annan. Work at the Tolbooth of Annan.

Receipt by seven masons and wrights working at the Tolbooth of Annan for 21s stg. left by the Marquis for drink money.

13 November 1723 NRA(S) 393 Bundle 168 (Johnstone of Annandale)

Vouchers George Blair's accounts.


Photographic Survey (1900 - 1930)

Photographs by A Brown & Co of sites across Scotland c1900-1930


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