Traditionally holding lands across the north east of Scotland, Clan Forbes once controlled 150 houses winding along the River Don.
The biggest of the houses – Castle Don – still stands overlooking the river and was originally built by James Ochonar, seventeenth Lord Forbes, and is still occupied by the descendants of Duncan Forbes – the man the lands were originally given to by King Alexander III in 1271.
The Forbes name itself is believed to have been derived from the area in which the clan settled and a clan legend states that the family first gained control of the area – which was then an uninhabitable land called the ‘Braes o’ Forbes’ – when the founder of the clan, Oconachar, slew a ferocious bear which had previously occupied the land and made it safe for his people to move into.
Today, the clan chief who resides at Castle Forbes is Malcolm Forbes, 23rd Lord Forbes. The castle is a category B listed building and can be visited by residential guests.