ANNAN (THE), a river of Dumfries-shire, flowing through the centre of the county from north to south. It rises among the high mountains and fells in which the shires of Dumfries, Lanark, and Peebles, touch each other; but its chief feeders flow from the southern and western base of the mountain which gives name to the Hartfell group, which is in the parish of Moffat, on the borders of Peebles-shire, and has an elevation of 2,635 feet. These feeders flow south-west, and successively discharge themselves into a stream holding a course nearly direct south from Corehead to Bridgend. At the latter place, the stream, now of considerable volume, inclines a little towards the east, and forming the boundary betwixt the parishes of Kirkpatrick-Juxta and Moffat, passes the village of Moffat, below which it receives in succession, a stream descending from Snawfell, and the Frenchland burn, both coming from the north-east; and about 2½ miles below, is joined by Moffat water coming from the north-eastern, and Evan water descending from the north-western, extremity of the parish. These two tributaries unite with the Annan on opposite sides, at one point, at an elevation of about 350 feet above sea-level. Its next important tributary is Wamphray water, coming from the north-east, soon after receiving which, its course becomes very meandering, though still bearing southwards. A little below Applegirth kirk it receives an important tributary from the north-west, in Kinnel water; at the southern extremity of Dryfesdale parish, of which it forms the western boundary, it bends eastwards to St Mungo kirk. At the south-eastern extremity of St Mungo parish, it receives the Milke water, from its junction with which its course is south-east, to its junction with the Mein water, in the parish of Hoddam. From this latter point its course is nearly south to the town of Annan, whence its estuary sweeps in a south-west and then south-east direction into the upper part of the Solway frith. Its total length of course is about 30 miles. Its general character, in the lower part of its course, is that of a gently flowing pastoral stream, which is perhaps indicated in its name Amhann in Gaelic, signifying the slow-running water. Allan Cunningham styles it ‘the silver Annan.’ In the ballad of ‘Annan Water,’ [Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, Vol. III. p. 284, Cadell’s edn.] it is styled ‘a drumlie river;’ but this was during a spate, the tragical consequences of which are commemorated in the ballad; and the editor informs us that when
‘Aunan water’s wading deep,’
that river and the frith into which it falls are the frequent scenes of tragical accidents.