Forbes Mausoleum – Falkirk, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Forbes Mausoleum

This abandoned mausoleum from 1815 sits deep within the forest surrounding Callendar House. 


Callendar House is a sprawling, 14th-century French chateau surrounded by over 170 acres of lawn and forest. Heavily frequented by joggers and dog-walkers, the expansive grounds are home to magnificent flora, fauna, and a glistening pond. 

Unbeknown to most, however, is the abandoned mausoleum that lies deeper within the forest. Dating back to 1816, Forbes Mausoleum is a circular, Classical monument memorializing the death of William Forbes I. Designed by Archibald Elliot, it boasts twelve fluted columns that emerge from a podium. Above the doorway, an inscription of a verse taken from a Greek poem nods to the impermanence of human life. Several members of the Forbes family are buried in the surrounding cemetery, along with individuals who worked on the estate.

The mausoleum, now sealed shut, hasn’t been used in years. Heavily tattooed with colorful graffiti, it’s slowly being overtaken by the forest and the markings of those who stumble upon it.

Know Before You Go

Callendar House and Park is free and open to the public. If arriving by car, you can find free parking by the entrance. Once you're at the chateau, head about 800 yards southeast to get to the mausoleum. There are lots of great walks and views you can enjoy throughout the park, and a tearoom in the chateau that serves breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. Please note that the Callendar House is closed on Tuesdays.