Duns (in Scots “Dunse”) is the historic county town of Berwickshire close to the English / Scottish border.
Duns Law was the original site of the town and has the remains of an Iron age hill fort at its summit. Duns was invaded many times by the English and both English and Scottish armies would muster near the town before invading the other side.
In 1372 near the present day town there was an engagement, the “Battle of Duns”. While the invading English army were camped before moving further north they were attacked by the local townsmen. During the night, while the English army were asleep the local sheperds and farmers disturbed the armies horses, using a type of rattle made from dried skin with pebbles inside, these were normally used to protect there crops and beasts from birds and wild animals. The army awoke in turmoil,disarray and being harassed by the locals. They retired back over the border leaving everything behind. The towns motto is “Duns dings a”
Duns was burned to the ground in 1544,1555 and 1558, three times in 14 years, before relocating from the ruin at the top of Duns Law to its present location at its foot.
Robert Burns visited Duns in 1787 (he may have visited the Black Bull)
During the Second World War, Duns was home to the First and Second Armoured Regiment of the Polish army. There is a Polish War Memorial in Duns park, unveiled in 1981 by there Commanding Officer General Stanislaw Maczek.There is also a memorial to WOJTEC, a Syrian brown bear which was adopted by the Polish soldiers in 1943. The memorial which can be seen in the Market Square, was gifted by our twin town of Zagan.
Duns was the Berwickshire market town and would hold a market every Wednesday. Today it has the largest shopping facilities in a radius of 15 miles.