in the Scottish
county of Dumfriesshire, on the English
The town has been associated with elopement and marriage since 1754.
It was in this year that Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act came into force. The act required parental consent for marriages in England where either party to the union was under 21. The lawful age for wedlock in Scotland remained 16, regardless of consent, hence people fled north of the border to be married, often with an irate father in hot pursuit.
Being the first village on the Scottish side of the border, and situated on the main route from London into Scotland, Gretna Green became the destination for thousands of underage couples until 1940.
The name Gretna Green is still heavily associated with marriage, and even now over 4,000 couples marry in Gretna Green every year, which accounts for 13% of Scottish weddings.