The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary







Duns is a burgh in the Scottish Borders. It is known as the birthplace of John Duns Scotus, from whose name the word dunce is derived, and also of racing driver Jim Clark. The town is popular with walkers, many of whom scale the Duns Law hill. Manderston House mansion lies just outside the burgh.

The Ba game of Duns A kind of Medieval football. Three balls or "Ba's" were required for this game; the first was gold, the second silvered, and the third coloured or spotted. A fourth was provided in case of mishap, and if not needed was presented to the subscriber whose entertainment had been most hospitable, the family at Duns Castle usually being the recipients.

At mid-day the honour of throwing up the ball would be auctioned in the Kirkyard. The throw would invariably be performed by a member of the Duns castle family. At 1 o'clock the game began, the Ba being thrown up in the market square . The goal for the married men was the pulpit of the church, if this happened then the church bell would rung by the victors. The goal of the bachlors was the hopper of any of the grinding mills in the district, the nearset being over a mile away. If a bachelor won the ba he would be dusted with flour and receive a meal of pork & dumplings from the miller.

The game was revived in 1949 as part of the Duns Summer festival. The goals are now at Castle street & Currie street.'

Last updated: 08-17-2005 18:57:22
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46