Highgate Cemetery, West

A while back I posted about London’s Highgate East Cemetery. This time I will take you on a walk to Highgate West – a cemetery which can only be visited on a tour.

From Monday to Friday, you must book your tour in advance. This can easily be done here. Our guide was delightful and full of information.

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On weekends it’s a first come, first served type of thing. Do check out the cemetery’s web page for all relevant information for your visit.

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Taking part in the tour is well worth it, as there is something spectacular about this cemetery and otherwise you won’t get to experience it.

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Highgate West is the original cemetery built in 1839. At the time, there was need for more burial space, as graves were often situated in lanes between buildings and considered a health hazard!

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Seven new cemeteries were commissioned to be opened in London of which one was Highgate.

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The first person to be buried at Highgate was a 36 year old woman called Elizabeth Jackson. Highgate was consecrated by the Bishop of London on May 20th and Elizabeth was buried six days later.  I did take a photo of the grave but as it was so unassuming, I can’t find it any longer!

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In addition to being a beautiful site, Highgate West has very interesting architectural elements. The Egyptian Avenue was inspired by Napoleon’s campaigns and thus all things Egyptian.

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The nature has almost been left to run wild and even foxes have been said to reside there.

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George Michael is buried at Highgate but his grave is in a private area, which is not accessible to visitors.

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You will find many of these draped urns on the graves.

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There are many catacombs at Highgate and on the tour, you can enter one.

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There are a couple of places where you are not allowed to take photographs, as the loved ones of the people buried there have wished so.

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This dog is mourning his master – a boxer called Thomas Sayers.

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A grave of a horse lover.

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Some of the newer graves were near the exit.

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An ouroboros – a snake eating its own tail. They say this is a symbol of infinity.

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When you leave, you can stroll through the Waterlow park.

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And say hi to some ducks before hopping on the Archway tube.

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Have you been to Highgate cemetery? Do you know of any other cemetery in London worth visiting?

xx

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