Tuesday, 31 July 2018


Duns Market Square

Duns is a small market town in the Scottish Borders about 16 miles from Berwick-Upon-Tweed and about 7 miles from the small neighbouring town of Greenlaw.

Duns has a long and turbulent history dating back to the iron age. In the 1300's the town suffered frequent attacks by English armies. In 1377 during his invasion of Scotland, the Earl of Northumberland's troops camped at Duns but were routed by the townsmen in what became known as the Battle of Duns. In 1490 the town was created a Burgh of Barony by James IV. However, Duns continued to suffer at the hands of English raiders and in the 1500's was burned to the ground three times in fourteen years. In 1588 the town moved from the top of the hill to the foot, expanding and flourishing to become the town it is today. In 1903 it was announced the Duns was the county town of Berwickshire.

Duns Castle was originally a Peel tower built in 1320 and transformed into a Gothic castle between 1818 and 1822. It has been the family home of the Hay family since 1696 and the current owners still live in the castle today. The Duns Castle Nature Reserve is open to the public and may walking routes will take you through the grounds offering views of the castle. A 4 mile woodland walk starting from Hardens Hill above the golf course has stunning views  of the town and surrounding countryside ending in the grounds of the castle.

Duns Castle

The elegant Manderston House is only about 1.7 miles from the town on the A6105. This beautiful Edwardian Country House was originally a Georgian Mansion built in the 1790's. It was purchased by Richard Miller in 1855 and has continued to remain in the family. It is currently owned by the 4th Lord Palmer. The beautiful house and gardens are open on Thursdays and Sundays from May to September. A visit is well recommended. 

Manderston House

In the market square stands a statue of Wojtek the Bear. Wojtek was bought by Polish Soldiers during World War II and travelled with them helping to transport amunition. At the end of the war Wojtek accompanied the soldiers to their new base at Winfield Airfield on Sunwick Farm, near Hutton, not far from Duns. In 1947 Wojtek moved to Edinburgh Zoo where he lived peacefully until he died in 1963 at the age of 21.



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