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Duns Town Trail
43 Newtown Street


43 Newtown Street

43 Newtown Street (23). On your right is number 43. This was built in 1843 as the Boston Free Church School and has a number of decorative panels. Although Boston died in 1732, his local influence was so strong that at the time of the Disruption in the mid 19th century, the local Free Church and its school were named in his honour. As you can see, the former schoolhouse is richly ornamented with carved stone plaques. Above the central window on the attic floor is a carved scroll bearing the inscription "Boston Free Church School" and at the first floor, above the right hand door, is a burning bush and the title "School of Industry". The panels above the doors are scallop shaped.

Continue along Newtown Street, noticing the crow steps on the buildings opposite. Half way along this block, on your right is 29 Newtown Street with its simple but elegant doorpiece. This house was built some time around 1741 although it was re-fronted and extended in the early 19th century. There is a barn and a stable to the rear of the building. In 1780, the house belonged to the quartermaster for the 4th Regiment of Horse. Turn right at Black Bull Street.

On the left you will see garage premises. These are built on the site of the old Corn Exchange where merchants from the surrounding area bought and sold corn on a weekly basis. The only sign of this institution now is the stone tablet next to the wall at the extreme right of the forecourt. This bears the inscription "Corn Exchange Erected MDCCCLVI" (1856).

The large white building on the right of Black Bull Street is The Black Bull Inn. Before the branch railway line from the East Coast main line arrived in Duns, stagecoaches served the town. This was one of the coaching inns on the route between Edinburgh and Berwick. In turn, the railway closed finally in 1951 as a result of falling passenger numbers and severe floods in 1948 which caused damage to track and bridges.

Opposite the end of Black Bull Street is Golden Square.

Turn left to enter Market Square and it is then just a short distance to the Mercat Cross and the end of this walk through Duns, its architecture and history. Being a short walk, not everything has been covered but we hope that this has been enough to give you a flavour of the town and trust that you will return again soon.


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