About Mercat cross
Start the Town Trail by the Mercat Cross in the Market Square. For a Scottish town or village, the Mercat Cross was a symbol of its trading status. Around it, public markets and fairs were held and proclamations made. Another function played by the cross was as a site of punishment; public humiliation being common practice before the 19th century.
Duns’ Mercat Cross is located in a prominent position on the south side of Market Square but when it was first erected in 1792 it was on the north side. The markets of Duns were held weekly on a Wednesday. The cross was taken down c.1820 to make way for the Town House. The cross was re-erected in the Public Park in 1897,where it remained until 1994 when it was returned to Market Square as part of an improvement scheme for the area.
Looking into the Market Square you face the site of the Town House. This building, also known as the Market House was built c.1816 by notable architect James Gillespie Graham. This impressive building was sadly demolished in 1966.
Looking around the square, notice the two bank buildings. On the right is the Bank of Scotland dating from the early 20th century. This has a distinctly Scottish feel to it with the narrow windows and piended slated roof. On the left is the Royal Bank of Scotland, which was designed by Peddie & Kinnear in 1857. If you look carefully, you can see the initials PK carved on the top left quoin. This is a strong looking block, which is influenced by Italian architecture. The bank was built on the site of the Red Lion Inn and the manager originally had his residence on the upper floors.