History of Kirkcroft Guest House

The schoolhouse Gretna Green (now known as Kirkcroft) was built in 1836 on church land as a home for the schoolmaster. The classroom was a single-storey building, which stood in what is now our car park.


The first schoolmaster appointed was a gentleman from Dalton, Dumfriesshire called Robert Riddick. He lived in the house with his wife Janet and according to records Janet dies in 1852, we believe he then moves from Gretna Green.
The second Schoolmaster to reside at Kirkcroft was William Duff from Keir, Dumfriesshire. Mr Duff lived alone until 1877 and according to a local newspaper report was found deceased in his bed. He lived and taught here for more than thirty years.
William was succeeded by James McIndoe from Falkirk, Stirlingshire. He had a wife Elizabeth and an ever increasing family!. The education act brought an end to schooling at Kirkcroft, and a new, larger school was built at Springfield in the late 1800s. Mr McIndoe carried on there as school master. James died in 1911 and is buried in Rigg cemetery, his rather grand monument was paid for by his friends and old scholars.

By 1898 a local businessman Robert Johnstone bought the old schoolhouse for use as the local post office, he also ran other businesses from the address. He lived and worked here with his wife Rachel and family. Rachel died in 1910 and Robert continued to run the post office until his death in 1927. His daughter Maria takes over as post mistress until after the second world war.
The property remained empty for a year or so until it was purchased by a local clothier Robert Harkness Wilson and his wife Mary and their family they lived here until 1984. It is during this time the house seems to be known as Kirkcroft.
The next family to live here were the Hodgson family, who then in 1988 sold it to the Moffat family who then turned it into a Guesthouse. In 2001 the next residents were Keith and Margaret Torrington who also ran it as a guesthouse. They sold to us, Robert and Elaine Pickles, December 2009.