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.
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.
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.
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!
Seven new cemeteries were commissioned to be opened in London of which one was Highgate.
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!
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.
The nature has almost been left to run wild and even foxes have been said to reside there.
George Michael is buried at Highgate but his grave is in a private area, which is not accessible to visitors.
You will find many of these draped urns on the graves.
There are many catacombs at Highgate and on the tour, you can enter one.
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.
This dog is mourning his master – a boxer called Thomas Sayers.
A grave of a horse lover.
Some of the newer graves were near the exit.
An ouroboros – a snake eating its own tail. They say this is a symbol of infinity.
When you leave, you can stroll through the Waterlow park.
And say hi to some ducks before hopping on the Archway tube.
Have you been to Highgate cemetery? Do you know of any other cemetery in London worth visiting?