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Duns Church History: Duns Boston Church (12/12)


In 1838 a ‘chapel-of-ease’ of the parish church opened in Station Road. Sources disagree whether it was built to cope with an increasing population, or by evangelical members of the parish church against the wishes of the Kirk Session. It was called ‘the Boston Church’ after Rev Thomas Boston, the famous eighteenth century preacher born in Duns. At the great Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 the congregation and their minister joined the Free Church of Scotland, although the parish church continued to assert its ultimate right of ownership. In 1881 the churchbuilding was refurbished, seating 650.

From 1927-32 the congregation was linked with Langton UF in Gavinton, during which time both re-entered the Church of Scotland at the great Reunion of 1929. In 1953 the congregation united with the parish church as ‘Duns Old & Boston’. Plans to turn the church into Duns fire station fell through, and after use as Boston Memorial Hall and a textile factory it was demolished in 1985 and replaced by Boston Court sheltered housing. Its bell – named ‘Auld Drumclog’ after a covenanting battle – was retained as an architectural feature while the 1911 organ was sold to Cowper Memorial Church, Olney, Buckinghamshire.

Names: Duns Boston Chapel-of-Ease (1838-43); Duns Boston Free Church (1843-1900); Duns Boston UF (1900-29); Duns Boston (1929-56).

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