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.
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
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
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
Carlyle died 5th February 1881 in London. He
had been offered interment in Westminster
Abbey, but wanted buried beside his parents in
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
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
80AD - the Romans built a fort to the east
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
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
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.
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
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
2000s? - the Hoddom Castle Caravan Park is
Today - Hoddom Castle has been included on
Historic Scotland's Castle Conservation