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The Resort of All Amorous Couples

Thomas Telford's Toll-house at Alison's Bank, Gretna

V.E. Weighill


When Thomas Telford’s Glasgow and Carlisle road was built 200 years ago, it was considered to be the most advanced for its time and one of his greatest achievements. This book tells how its toll-house at Gretna came into being and how it became part of the infamous marriage trade carried on there.

Based as far as possible on original sources and contemporary accounts and placed it in the context of early nineteenth century Gretna, the author traces the story of this small cottage from its beginning in the era of turnpikes and stage-coaches right up to the present day.

We learn about its builder, its toll-collectors and their lucrative sideline and some of the couples who were married there. We are taken through the twists and turns of the Gretna marriage industry and the transformation of Gretna by the Great War and by the many, more recent, developments.

Through all of these changes the toll-house has found a role for itself and we see how now, though the road for which it was built is by-passed, it continues to play its part in Gretna’s story.


V.E. Weighill



Publication Date:



Paperback; 210 x 148mm




Some colour photographs

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