Hundy Mundy Natural Burial Woodland
Hundy Mundy Natural Burial Woodland
  • Girrick, Kelso, Roxburghshire TD5 7SA
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Near Kelso and Melrose, Hundy Mundy Wood is located about 35 miles south of Edinburgh, in the heart of the Scottish Borders. The wood is part of a historic, designed landscape and stands prominently on the ridge of a hill southeast of Mellerstain, one of Scotland's great Georgian houses, which was begun in 1725 by architect William Adam and completed seventy years later by his famous son, Robert. Hundy Mundy is so called because George Baillie's children ( circa 1725) could not say Hunimundias which was the name of the Pictish Princess who once lived in the old tower house from which the folly "Hundy Mundy" was built. That building stood at the east end of the woodland strip. The prominent position provides spectacular scenic views in all directions. To the south can be viewed the Cheviots, to the west there are the Minto and Eildon Hills and to the north there is the impressive Mellerstain House with the Lammermuir Hills beyond. Populated by a variety of mature broadleaf and coniferous trees, including some magnificent Scots Pine, beech and oak, the wood is also home to a diverse range of plants and animals. The local Biological Records Centre designate the local area as being of great interest, particularly botanically. The volcanic outcrops of Little and Muckle Thairn to the east and south east have been designated a Wildlife Site by the Scottish Wildlife Trust on account of their notable grassland habitats. Hundy Mundy is the name given to the early 18th century folly which stands at the western end of the wood. Attributed to the great Scottish architect William Adam (1689-1748), the striking Gothic folly lies in a direct sight line with Mellerstain, home to the 13th Earl of Haddington. Ashes and untreated remains may be buried contained within biodegradable caskets, pods and similar entirely natural receptacles. Although no headstones are allowed, graves may be marked by a small engraved stone laid flat. There are areas for commemorative planting, and trees and shrubs can be selected from a list of native species and planting should be ordered directly through the Mellerstain Estate. The site is accessed off a minor road which runs east west, connecting the A6089 and the B6397, north of Smailholm and Nenthorn. From the public road, vehicles travel approximately 150m south east along an improved farm track to a car parking area for 10 vehicles. Nearby there is a gate leading to a footpath which runs a little more than half way down the southern site boundary. Hundy Mundy really is an exceptionally special place.
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