Much has been written about Moffat over the years and two books in particular give an interesting insight into how Moffat became the popular tourist town it is today.
For instance, according to Graham’s Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century: “In spring there meet round the little wells of Moffat a throng in their gayest and brightest from society in town and country, sipping their sulphur waters and discussing their pleasant gossip … city clergy, men of letters, country gentlemen and ladies of fashion and the diseased and decrepit of the poorest rank, who had toilsomely travelled from far-off districts to taste the magic waters.”
More recently, local historian Emilio Dicerbo, in his “Memories of Moffat” book tells that: “In the seventeenth century, Moffat’s transformation from a poor ‘Brigadoon’ – like village to the beginning of a popular Spa town occurred”. The sulphurous waters of Moffat Spa were believed to have healing properties and as more and more people flocked to Moffat, the “healing waters” were piped from the well to the “Baths Hall” (now the Town Hall).
The demands of those early visitors led to the building of a number of hotels. A particular Georgian exterior can be seen at the Annandale Arms Hotel on the High Street.
Later, in 1878, the Moffat Hydropathic Hotel that epitomised the Spa Heritage of Moffat was built on the road leading to the Beef Tub. Sadly it was destroyed by fire in 1921 In its heyday this palatial hotel contained over three hundred bedrooms, an elegantly furnished drawing room and a luxurious lounge. The spacious dining room seated three hundred diners in lavish surroundings.