Duns is formally the county town of Berwickshire in the Scottish Borders. It still retains the air of an old Scottish burgh with its spacious market square.
In earlier times, Duns' wealth and importance rested on its thriving livestock market and like many Border settlements, it has had a turbulent history, evidence of which can still be seen in and around the town.
Duns Castle, whose grounds are now a park and bird sanctuary, was redeveloped in 1820 around a 14th-century peel tower given by Robert the Bruce to Randolph, Earl of Moray. Nearby Greenknowe Tower is set in beautiful surroundings and the small kirk at Ellemford is where James IV met his commanders before the disastrous Battle of Flodden in 1513.
Rising some 700 ft above sea level, the hill of Duns Law offers commanding views of the Merse and the rich, low-lying farmlands running out from the coast.
Also worth visiting in Duns are Manderston House which offers a fascinating insight into 'upstairs, downstairs' life, and the Jim Clark Museum, a unique centre devoted to the late world Formula 1 champion racing driver.
Duns is also recognised as the likely birthplace of John Duns Scotus, the great medieval philosopher who taught at the University of Paris during the 14th century. A bronze statue of Duns Scotus stands in the public park.
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