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Duns Town Trail
Barniken House Hotel

Barniken House Hotel (4). This is another mid 19th century villa which has been converted into a hotel. Once more, you can see the panelled pilasters that can be found elsewhere in the town. The coach house to the north has been converted into houses. The area in front of the hotel was for centuries covered by a bog and the only way of crossing it was by way of a causeway. Throughout all the turbulent times in the Borders, the causeway was protected by a barniken or fortified building. Bearing in mind just how often Duns was used as a muster and re-supply point for armies, the causeway and Barniken must have witnessed more than a few troop movements.

The junction at the end of Murray Street and Station Road was where one of the town's tollhouses was situated. During the 18th century the road network was improved greatly in the Borders. This was due largely to the creation of Turnpike Trusts who undertook road improvements, the costs of which were recouped by the imposition of tolls. The Duns area was turnpiked in 1791-2 and there was great opposition to the seven tollbars, two of which were in the town itself. Almost as soon as the tolls had been erected, the town ones were destroyed by fire and soon after, two in the countryside were also destroyed. The tolls within the town do not appear to have been replaced. Turn right into Station Road, walk for 100 metres and turn right again into the Public Park.

back: Tolbooth House next:  Duns Public Park

Duns Scotland, Scottish Borders UK