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. The town has a long and turbulent history dating back to the Iron Age. It was originally sited on Duns law where the remains of an Iron Age hill fort have been discovered. 

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.

Manderston House is only a short drive from the town.  This elegant house is a fascinating place to visit and the beautiful gardens are a tranquil retreat. The grounds of Duns Castle are open to the public and offer many peaceful walking routes. About 2.5 miles South of the town on the A6112 is an unusual folly situated in a farmers field on the left not far from the Blackadder water.

Duns dates back to at least the Iron Age where the remains of an Iron Age Hill Fort have been discovered on Duns Law. The original town was situated on the slopes Duns Law and did not move to its present location at the bottom of the hill until1588. Unfortunately during the 1300's the town suffered frequent attacks by the English during border raids en route to the Lothians.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 Duns was created a Burgh of Barony by James IV. However, the town 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 a more settled position at the foot. The end of the Jacobite Rebellion in 1748 enable Duns to expand and flourish to become the town it is today. In 1903 it was announced the Duns was the county town of Berwickshire.

Wojtek Bear

Folly Near Duns

Blackadder Water, Near Duns

Duns Castle
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 many 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.

Manderson House
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


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