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Cothiemuir Hill: Natural Burial Ground at Castle Forbes

If you feel a strong connection to your Clan Forbes heritage, you may wish to spend eternity in the land of your ancestors.

Cothiemuir Hill is a natural burial ground on the estate of Castle Forbes near Alford, Aberdeenshire in Scotland. The land is owned by Clan Forbes Chief Malcolm, Lord Forbes, and is a part of the Leedam, now a world leader in sustainable meadow burials.

View of Bennachie from Cothiemuir Hill

The Gaelic name is based on the word “corthan,” a small stone circle or “corth,” and “muir,” meaning moor. (Milne, John. 1912. Celtic Place-names in Aberdeenshire. Aberdeen: Aberdeen Daily Journal) The hill does indeed include an ancient Pictish stone circle and overlooks the hills of Bennachie, or the mountain (ben) of the ancient Pictish land of Cé. (See Origins of the House of Forbes.)

Leedam handles the records processing and the Castle Forbes Estate staff take care of the practical side of identifying plots, preparing the graves, managing the day of the internment, and maintaining the site to preserve and enhance its natural environment.

A funeral director is not legally required in the United Kingdom, however the Leedam professionals are dedicated to assisting those who wish to take advantage of their services. Prior cremation is preferred since the remains contain no residue from embalming chemicals. You may wish to purchase an interment plot in advance and confirm this this is the right place for you and your family.

The site is open all year round during daylight hours and no appointment is necessary. Lord Forbes would also be available to provide a guided tour.

As of March 2022, a burial plot costs £895, internment of ashes is £445, and the scattering of ashes is £200. You can either purchase the rights to place a flat stone memorial for £280 or plant a tree in memory of you or a loved one for £450. Each order must include an administration fee of £60. Learn more here:

To learn more about Leedam and natural burial, please visit or send an e-mail to You can contact Lord Forbes via e-mail at

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