Thursday, 17 April 2014

Highgate Cemetery

I had been going back and forth about the idea of spending the afternoon in a Victorian cemetery, but I had seen enough interesting blog posts about Highgate Cemetery that I thought it was worth a look.

Highgate Cemetery is part of the Magnificent Seven, one of the seven large cemeteries built in the 19th century to alleviate the overcrowding of the parish burial grounds already in London. Kensal Green Cemetery (1832), West Norwood Cemetery (1837), Highgate Cemetery (1839), Abney Park Cemetery (1840), Nunhead Cemetery (1840), Brompton Cemetery (1840), Tower Hamlets Cemetery (1841). (In case you were interested).

We arrived just in time to join a tour of the West cemetery which has less famous people but more of the Victorian architecture. 

Hidden in the bush here is the cemetery's very first resident, Miss Elizabeth Jackson of Little Windmill Street, Soho.
The grounds were originally manicured gardens, a take on the French style at the time, but over the years the trees and bushes have become overgrown and a haven to wildlife.

Egyptian Avenue (very Indiana Jones isn't it?) was in high fashion at the time, the builders of the cemetery did what ever they could to make this fashionable and a place where Victorians would spend their hard earned money to be buried.
Through this avenue is the Circle of Lebanon and the Cedar of Lebanon that sits on top like a giant bonsai tree.

This teeny headstone is the resting place of Adam Worth, never heard of him? He was a American criminal mastermind in the Victorian period and was nicknamed the Napoleon of Crime. He is possibly the inspiration to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes nemesis Professor Moriarty.

I just love how much detail and inscription is included on some of the headstones.

Included in our West tour was admission into the East cemetery. We were running out of time, but we didn't want to miss out seeing the famous "people".

The memorial to Carl Marx can be found here, and his original resting place, which was moved here years later.

'Her faithful dog Emperor' 

I also enjoyed seeing the more whimsical headstones or ones with funny things about them.

We saw this one when we first walked into the cemetery and I was struck by the beautiful bust of this person. Also, I enjoyed the inscription said, "This is it."

But then when we left, the bust was gone! 

Sadly, nothing mysterious going on here, the artist was needing to attached it properly so had taken it away with him. It was his father's grave. So touching.

If you've be interested in visiting this cemetery yourself check out the website. Admission into the West Gate is only by tour which run daily and cost £12 which includes entry into East gate. Or you can just visit East Gate for admission rate of £4.

Fun travels!

This was not a sponsored post. 

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