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Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery is a treasure trove of decadent Victorian deathly delights - its numerous tombs and gravestones reflect grand Victorian taste in every sense.

Appropriately placed at the top of Highgate Hill (one of the largest hills in London), this 37-acre cemetery was built in 1839. It was originally one of seven private burial grounds built when London expanded and the old "town burial grounds" could no longer cope.

It is divided into the Western (original) and the Eastern (built 1854) cemeteries - separated by Swains Lane. Originally there was a tunnel beneath Swains Lane where, after a funeral, a coffin could be lowered from the Anglican Chapel on the west side for burial on the east.

There are about 167,000 people buried in the 52,000 graves. The Western Cemetery contains the more interesting ones - and many of the monuments are now listed buildings. While its most famous occupant is probably Karl Marx, there's a decent number of other prominent Victorians - like George Eliot. Funerals still take place (which means that sometimes visitors are not allowed). Sir Ralph Richardson, Sir Michael Redgrave and Patrick Wymark have recently joined the throng.

The cemetery is a mix of gravestones, memorials, mausoleums (some up to three storeys high) catacombs and incredible architectural features. Being on the top of a hill means a clear day offers incredible views too. Give yourself a good couple of hours to explore.

The Western Cemetery can only be visited by way of guided tours (no children under eight or mobile phones allowed) while the Eastern Cemetery is free for exploration (although it is far less interesting and glamorous). Both gates are often locked for other reasons too - such as funerals. So please telephone the number provided before you visit!

The tomb of Karl Marx. Copyright Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery Information


When: Daily

Where: London

Cost:

Opening Hours:

Address: Swains Lane, London, N6 6PJ

Hotels near Highgate Cemetery


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