Lately I have found that I have a facination for cemeteries. Why, you may ask. Cemeteries are often beautiful and serene places where you can stroll around and take a breather. One such place is London’s Highgate Cemetery.
If you are planning on visiting Highgate, it’s good to know that there are two cemeteries next to one another. Highgate East and West. Both are worth a visit but do note that West can only be visited via pre-booked tours. This post will concentrate on East Cemetery.
As I had arrived in London that very morning, I thought it would be a good idea to have lunch before visiting the cemetery. The pub I had planned to go to was nearer to the Highgate tube station than Archway, that’s where I navigated.
I strolled along in the Spring sunshine.
There it is – The Red Lion & Sun!
It was a tad too nippy to sit outside.
I decided to treat myself to an authentic fish ‘n chips. Do note that this was their smaller portion – I hate to think wha the normal portion looks like!
After my very filling lunch, I wandered along to Highgate. Do check out their website for information on how to find them and for the prices. It is very informative and helped me a lot with planning my visit.
I was greeted with a bit of Spring rain and of course my umbrella was at the hotel. Thankfully the ticket booth had some to borrow. I guess it’s best to always carry an umbrella with you in London.
The East Cemetery was opened in 1860, so it is actually newer than the West side.
It is now owned by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery.
Burials still take place and the cemetery caters to the needs of Northern London.
As I walked around, I saw a funeral in progress but as I wanted to be discreet, I didn’t take any photos.
What I love about Highgate is that nature is allowed to run a bit wild.
At times, it’s neat and trimmed.
But then, you see that nature has it’s own ideas.
Highgate is a Victorian cemetery.
Highgate has it’s own ghost of course. A mad old lady who wanders the paths looking for her murdered children. Yikes!
The reason many visit is the grave of Karl Marx. It used to be on a side path but in 1955 this huge bust was installed.
Everywhere you look, there is some detail which will catch your eye.
The grave below had the text “Do not grieve, we are all pilgrims, on a journey towards the same destination” but it is covered by the flowers.
Harry Thorton’s piano. He was a classical pianist who played for the troops in WWI. The text on the side is from Madame Butterfly – “Sweet thou art sleeping; cradled on my heart; safe in god’s keeping; while I must weep apart.” Beautiful.
A grave with Chinese text.
This interesting grave below is that of Patrick Caulfield. He was an artist. Apparently this kind of gravestone hasn’t been seen anywhere else. It is kind of macabre – the letters spell out DEAD. The artist designed the tombstone himself.
The flowers were beautiful in early May.
I could’ve walked these paths for hours but I had to leave for the start of the Highgate West tour. That will have to be another post as this one is too long as it is!
I will leave you to wonder what the story behind this grave is. It looks like a loyal guard dog guarding his master’s grave.
Have you been to Highgate? Do you have another cemetery somewhere in the world you have found fascinating? Let me know in the comments below.