The western approach to Annan affords a spectacular view of the town. The plans for the 176 year-old road bridge with its graceful arches were by the great engineer Rennie.
Outstanding amongst the important sandstone buildings at this end of the High Street is Bridge House, built in 1780 and considered to be one of the finest Georgian town houses in Scotland. From 1802 to 1820 Bridge House served as the town Academy, where Thomas Carlyle was both pupil and teacher.
Plans are under way to restore this Grade A listed building for public use, and to build a museum for East Dumfriesshire which will house the present collections of the Historic Research Centre and provide permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a café, shop, family research room, education room, marriage room and business facilities.
The High Street widens in front of the Victorian Town Hall of 1878, in the Gothic Style. The rope work carved above the central doorway is a reminder of Annan's success as a port. A statue of King Robert The Bruce is placed on the plinth on the front of the town's Victorian town hall. The War Memorial (on the right in the photograph) is one of many in the area.
Bruce Street branches off the High Street at the War Memorial. It leads to the public park where the mounds of Robert de Brus' 12th century motte and bailey (covered with trees on the right of the photograph below) still tower impressively over the site of the original river crossing. This was the first of the castles built by this powerful Norman dynasty, who gave the settlement of Annan baronial burgh status.
Opposite the entrance to the park a plaque marks the cottage where the distinguished Victorian artist William Ewart Lockhart, painter to Queen Victoria, was brought up. This, his last self-portrait, won a posthumous Paris Salon medal.
Many of the fine sandstone buildings along the High Street and Bank Street are the subjects of a survey for a restoration project. All the buildings in Bank Street are Grade B listed, including the former library, now Annan Museum, the present Museum and Archive centre for East Dumfriesshire. Find out more about Annan Museum.
The continuation of Bank Street leads past the late Victorian private houses of St John's Road to the railway station, built by the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company in 1848 and one of the best surviving early stations in the region.
On the other side of the road are the late 19th and late 20th century versions of Annan Academy, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2002.
During his retreat from Derby, Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed in the High Street at am inn. As an exciseman based in Dumfries, Robert Burns was a frequent visitor to the town and harbour, and is said to have written The Deils Awa wi th' Exciseman in a building on the site of the present Pagani's restaurant.
Annan Old Parish Church, built in 1789, marks the eastern end of the town in the Georgian period. Its elegant interior includes a canopied Provost's Pew.
The old graveyard behind provides important evidence of the variety of trades that brought prosperity to the area in the 18th and 19th centuries. In front of the church is a statue to Edward Irving, the famous preacher deposed from the ministry of the Church of Scotland in 1833 for his heretical views.
Take a tour of the town and it's historical landmarks ....
The story behind the statue of King Robert The Bruce at Annan Town Hall ...
Take a tour of Annan harbour and waterfoot ....
Discover the wealth of history and interest in the area immediately surrounding Annan ...