The town of Duns was once a thriving livestock town with a large market square. 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. This was originally the site of the town and on top of the hill, the remains of an Iron Age Hillfort can be seen, suggesting it was used as an area of defence. Duns Law is also the original Duns Castle location which was built in 1320 by the Earl of Moray, nephew of Robert the Bruce. The grounds are now a park and bird sanctuary. Today the town is bustling with plenty of shops and amenities.
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.
The area was also an area of conflict between Scotland and England over the past few hundred years; a feature common throughout the borders. More recent history can be sen when looking at the Polish War Memorial. During World War Two many Polish soldiers were stationed here in order to form new regiments. The monument pays tribute to those who died during the conflict. The memorial was gifted by the twin town of Żagań in Poland and was unveiled in 2016.