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History of Duns
Boston Court and the Drumclog Bell

The Drumclog Bell

Boston Court, off Station Road, and adjacent to the Tennis Courts and the Public Park, has, at its entrance, a large bell with the following explanatory notice attached:

DRUMCLOG - the Boston Church Bell

Part of this site was formerly occupied by the Boston Church which was built in 1838 by the Duns Parish of the established Kirk as an extension charge to accommodate the swelling parish congregations of the day. Soon after its completion Buchan of Kelloe, having helped persuade the Kirk to build the Church, was instrumental in leading its congregation into the Free Church at the Disruption in 1843.

It is generally assumed that the Church took its name from Thomas Boston (1676 - 1732) who was born in a thatched house in Newtown Street and who became the minister at Simprim, in the presbytery of Duns and Chirnside, and later at Ettrick where he wrote the Calvinist treatise the 'Fourfold Estate'.

The bell for the new Church was named 'Drumclog' after the Battle of Drumclog (1679) near Strathaven, when Bonnie Dundee tried to disperse a large conventicle but found it to be an organised army, and was put to flight.

The bell had a sonorous note, lower in tone than the other bells in the town, which perhaps accounts for the lines in the song Duns Dings A' -

Rumm'le the drum and toot the trump,
Gaur Bouston's auld 'Drumclogger' thump.

Worship ceased in 1953 and when the Church was demolished prior to the building of Boston Court, the bell was saved by the Berwickshire District Council to be displayed here as a reminder of the town's history.

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Duns Scotland, Scottish Borders UK