Ecclefechan

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Ecclefechan is a village in south Scotland, 22 miles north of Carlisle, under 1 mile off the A74 / M6 motorway, 18 miles east of Dumfries.

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See also a large Click On Map for the area Top Attractions.

The village is now best known for the birthplace of poet and author Thomas Carlyle, and for Hoddom Castle Caravan Park 2 miles southwest.

The image top is of a statue of Thomas Carlyle at the north entrance to the village.

The most notable building in the village is the Ecclefechan Hotel in the village centre on the High Street.

A short walk south of the hotel is the Thomas Carlyle Birthplace Museum. Thomas Carlyle was born here in 1795 and went on to become one of the most prolific writers and social commentators of the 1800s.

Hoddom Parish Church is situated along Hoddom Road from the hotel. Thomas Carlyle and his family graves are in the graveyard at the church.

Carlyle died 5th February 1881 in London. He had been offered interment in Westminster Abbey, but wanted buried beside his parents in Ecclefechan.

The Thomas Carlyle Birthplace house was opened to the public in 1881. The house is normally open 14 Apr - 30 Sep, Fri-Mon, 12.00-16.00. Best check the website before visiting.

Between the Hotel and church is the tower of Hoddom School built in 1875. The school was replaced by houses built around the tower.

At the north side of the village is Ecclefechan Park with a plaque giving information on the area from Roman times on.

Ecclefechan History

80AD - the Romans built a fort to the east of Ecclefechan.

155 - the Romans had to repair the fort after being attacked by locals.

1100s - the lands of Hoddom around Ecclefechan belonged to the Herries family.

1500s - Sir John Maxwell acquired Hoddom after marrying the heiress Agnes, Lady Herries.

The earliest parts of present day Hoddom Castle were built at that time, just over 2 miles southwest of Ecclefechan.

Repentance Tower was built around that time on a hill as a watchtower for the castle.

1772 - Archibald Arnott was born in Ecclefechan. He was Napoleon's doctor on St Helena.

1730 - the Ecclefechan Hotel was built.

1788 - stagecoaches traveling between Glasgow and London began using the village for stopovers, with Ecclefechan being 77 miles south of Glasgow.

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The stagecoaches would take 6 days to travel the 400 miles between the two cities, traveling up to 80 miles each day.

1795 - Thomas Carlyle was born in the village.

1855 - Archibald Arnott dies at Ecclefechan, he was buried at the village Hoddom Church.

1881 - Thomas Carlyle dies, he was buried at the village Hoddom Church.

1950s - Hoddom Castle was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

2000s? - the Hoddom Castle Caravan Park is opened.

Today - Hoddom Castle has been included on Historic Scotland's Castle Conservation Register.