Gretna Green, about 10 miles into Scotland from the English border city of Carlisle is worth a visit if you happen to tour the Scottish border area. Runaway marriages performed at the old smithy built around the year 1712 have been carried out since 1753 when the English passed an act prohibiting marriage of people who were under 21 years of age and didn’t have parental consent.
Scottish law permitted marriage of couples without consent at 16 years of age. This led to many young elopers fleeing England and their angry parents to be wed in Scotland. Gretna Green lost no time in getting into the marriage business and the blacksmith shop became the focal point for carrying out these ‘English illegal’ unions.
The Gretna Green story museum takes the visitor back in time and recounts many tales about the happenings there over the years. The facility has a tartan shop, a museum and a gift shop, restaurant, coffee house and observatory bar. To complete your visit, you can become part of the legend by having an anvil wedding or having your wedding vows blessed in this famous building.