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Gretna Green

Gretna Green
August 8, 2023 admin

The Old Smithy at Gretna Green plays host to a Mousehole anvil, used not only for smithing but also as a ‘marriage anvil’ upon which eloping couples could be married under Scottish Law without their families’ consent. All that was required was a declaration before two witnesses and almost anybody had the authority to conduct the marriage ceremony. Gretna Green was the first village a runaway couple would come to after crossing the border and as a result the local blacksmiths began combining the ‘heat of the forge’ with ‘heat of the moment’ marriages and became known as ‘anvil priests’. The anvil remains a local symbol of romance and marriage to this day.

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