Origin and ownership of the Hall

Duns Volunteer Hall was created as a drill hall suitable for the 2nd (Berwickshire) Volunteer Battalion, King’s Own Scottish Borderers. This unit was formed in 1888 and was commanded by Colonel Charles Hope of Cowdenknowes.

In 1894, the owner of land in the Earlsmeadow area of Duns, George Gillon Turnbull of Abbey St Bathans, granted a feu charter to the Trustees for A and H (Duns) companies of the battalion. These were Colonel Hope and the company captains: John Gibson of Duns and John Swinton of Kimmerghame.

The Volunteer Hall was built on the half-acre plot by public subscription, mostly from the people of Duns, although the largest donation came from Colonel Hope. He formally opened the Hall on 13 February 1895, at a ceremony attended by over 1,000 people.

In 1986, the ownership of the Hall was transferred to the Territorial and Auxiliary Reserve Association for the Lowlands of Scotland, by the Secretary of State for Defence (as the heritable proprietor). Ownership later passed to the Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association.

A Heart for Duns became the new owner of the Volunteer Hall on 12 April 2018. The charity had leased the building since May 2016 and in September 2017 was awarded a grant of £206,000 from the Scottish Land Fund to support the purchase.