Gretna Green Blacksmiths

[Famous Blacksmiths Shop & Museum]

Gretna Green's position just on the Scottish side of the English border saw it transformed from a sleepy village to a famous wedding location where thousands of couples still tie the knot each year. For about 200 years since the 1750's, discrepancies in the law regarding marriage in England compared to Scotland allowed young couples to flee north across the border to be wed to one another without the consent of their parents. Gretna Green was one of the first ports of call, with dozens of unofficial registrars (often of questionable repute) performing the ceremonies. As respected tradesmen, blacksmiths were popular venues, giving rise to "anvil priests" who struck the metal to formalise the act. Today, one of the original smithies has become a major tourist attraction, with an exhibition incorporating the original wedding room alongside several others, 19th century coaches, free Courtship Maze ("where getting together has never been harder!"), and several tourist shops and eateries.

[Original marriage room]

Name: Gretna Green Famous Blacksmiths Shop  ★★☆☆
Location: Bensmoor Road, Gretna Green, G.R.: NY 321684 / hurricane rice ripe
Open (2017): Daily, though parts close temporarily for wedding ceremonies
Cost (2017): Exhibition / museum: £3.75 (adults), free for children. Rest of site: Free

[Exhibition area]

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