Highgate Cemetery is a place of burial in north London, England. It is designated Grade I on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. It is divided into two parts, named the East and West cemetery. There are approximately 170,000 people buried in around 53,000 graves at Highgate Cemetery. Highgate Cemetery is notable both for some of the people buried there as well as for its de facto status as a nature reserve.
The cemetery is located on both sides of Swain's Lane in
Highgate, N6, next to
The main gate is located just north of Oakshott Avenue. There is
another disused gate on Chester Road. The cemetery is in the London
Boroughs of Camden, Haringey and Islington. The nearest transport
link is Archway tube station.
The cemetery in its original form – the northwestern wooded area
– opened in 1839, as part of a plan to provide seven large, modern
cemeteries, known as the "Magnificent Seven", around the outside of
central London. The inner-city cemeteries, mostly the graveyards
attached to individual churches, had long been unable to cope with
the number of burials and were seen as a hazard to health and an
undignified way to treat the dead. The initial design was by
architect and entrepreneur Stephen Geary.
On Monday 20 May 1839, Highgate Cemetery was dedicated to St.
James by the Right Reverend Charles Blomfield, Lord Bishop of
London. Fifteen acres were consecrated for the use of the Church of
England, and two acres set aside for Dissenters. Rights of burial
were sold for either limited period or in perpetuity. The first
burial was Elizabeth Jackson of Little Windmill Street, Soho, on 26 May.
Highgate, like the others of the Magnificent Seven, soon became
a fashionable place for burials and was much admired and visited.
The Victorian attitude to death and its presentation led to the
creation of a wealth of Gothic tombs and buildings. It occupies a
spectacular south-facing hillside site slightly downhill from the
top of the hill of Highgate itself, next to Waterlow Park. In 1854
the area to the east of the original area across Swains Lane was
bought to form the eastern part of the cemetery. This part is still
used today for burials, as is the western part. Most of the open
unforested area in the new addition still has fairly few graves on
The cemetery's grounds are full of trees, shrubbery and wild
flowers, most of which have been planted and grown without human
influence. The grounds are a haven for birds and small animals such
as foxes. The Egyptian Avenue and the Circle of Lebanon (topped by
a huge Cedar of Lebanon) feature tombs, vaults and winding paths
dug into hillsides. For its protection, the oldest section, which
holds an impressive collection of Victorian mausoleums and
gravestones, plus elaborately carved tombs, allows admission only
in tour groups. The eastern section, which contains a mix of
Victorian and modern statuary, can be toured unescorted.
The tomb of Karl Marx, the Egyptian Avenue and the Columbarium
are Grade I listed buildings.
Highgate Cemetery was featured in the popular media from the
1960s to the late 1980s for its so-called occult past, particularly
as being the alleged site of the "Highgate Vampire".
Friends of Highgate
The Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust was set up in 1975 and
acquired the freehold of both East and West Cemeteries by 1981,
since when they have had responsibility for the maintenance of the
location. In 1984 they published Highgate Cemetery: Victorian
Valhalla by John Gay.
The most famous burial in the East cemetery is arguably that of
Karl Marx (whose tomb's attempted bombings on 2 September 1965 and
in 1970 are still recalled by some Highgate residents), and it is
celebrated by a memorial (he was buried nearby).
There are many other prominent figures, Victorian and otherwise,
buried at Highgate Cemetery. Most of the historically notable
figures lie in the eastern part. Tours of the most famous graves
are available but, due to vandalism and souvenir hunters, visitors
are no longer allowed to explore unaccompanied, unless they have a
personal connection with the cemetery and hold a pass to their
deceased relative's grave.
- Henry Gray, anatomist and surgeon, author of Gray's
- Anatoly Kuznetsov, Soviet writer
- Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the
Galaxy and other novels
- Farzad Bazoft, journalist, executed by Saddam Hussein's
- Jeremy Beadle, television presenter
- Patrick Caulfield, painter and printmaker known for his pop art
- Diane Cilento, Australian actress and author
- husband and wife William Kingdon Clifford, mathematician and
philosopher, and Lucy Lane Clifford, novelist and journalist
- George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans — the name on the grave is Mary
Ann Cross), novelist, common law wife of George Henry Lewes and
buried next to him
- Paul Foot, campaigning journalist and nephew of former Labour
Party leader Michael Foot
- Lou Gish, actress, daughter of Sheila Gish
- Sheila Gish, actress
- Robert Grant VC, soldier and police constable
- Eric Hobsbawm, historian
- George Holyoake, Birmingham-born social reformer and founder of
the Cooperative Movement
- Bert Jansch, Scottish folk musician
- Claudia Jones, black Communist and fighter for social
- William Friese-Greene, cinema pioneer
- Mansoor Hekmat, Communist leader and founder of the
Worker-Communist Party of Iran and Worker-Communist Party of
- George Henry Lewes, English philosopher and critic, common law
husband of George Eliot and buried next to her.
- Anna Mahler, sculptress and daughter of Gustav Mahler and Alma
- Karl Marx, philosopher, historian, sociologist and
- Frank Matcham, theatre architect
- Carl Mayer, Austro-German screenwriter of The Cabinet of
Doctor Caligari and Sunrise
- Malcolm McLaren, punk impresario and original manager of the
- Ralph Miliband, left wing political theorist, father of David
Miliband and Ed Miliband
- Dachine Rainer, poet and anarchist
- Corin Redgrave, actor and policital activist
- Sir Ralph Richardson, actor
- Anthony Shaffer, playwright, screenwriter and novelist
- Sir Donald Alexander Smith, Canadian railway
financier and diplomat
- Herbert Spencer, evolutionary biologist and laissez-faire
- Sir Leslie Stephen, critic, first editor of the Dictionary
of National Biography, father of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa
- Lucien Stryk, American poet, teacher and translator of Zen
- Sir George Thalben-Ball, English Organist and Choirmaster
- Feliks Topolski, Polish-born British expressionist painter
- Max Wall, comedian and entertainer
- Opal Whiteley, American writer
- Edward Richard Woodham, survivor of the Charge of the Light
- Jane Arden, Welsh-born film director, actor, screenwriter,
playwright, songwriter, and poet.
- Edward Hodges Baily, sculptor
- Beryl Bainbridge, author
- George Samuel Bentley, printer and publisher of the London
Standard Newspaper 1879-1890
- Julius Beer, owner of The Observer, and his
eight-year-old daughter, for whom the mausoleum was originally
created. This is the largest structure on the site and has recently
been restored to close to its original splendour
- Jacob Bronowski, scientist, creator of the television series
The Ascent of Man
- Robert Caesar Childers, scholar of the Orient and writer
- Edmund Chipp, organist and composer
- John Singleton Copley, Lord Chancellor and son of the American
- Sir Charles Cowper, Premier of New South Wales, Australia
- The family vault of Robert Monach and WH Crossland. In this
vault are buried William Henry Crossland's parents-in-law (the
Monachs), his brother, his wife, his mistress, his daughter and
eldest son, though not Crossland himself
- Charles Cruft, founder of Crufts dog show
- David Devant, theatrical magician
- Alfred Lamert Dickens, the younger brother of Charles
- Catherine Dickens, wife of Charles Dickens
- John and Elizabeth Dickens, parents of Charles Dickens
- The Druce family vault, one of whose members was (falsely)
alleged to have been the 5th Duke of Portland.
- Michael Faraday, chemist and physicist
- John Galsworthy, author and Nobel Prize winner (he was cremated
and his ashes scattered, memorial only)
- Stella Gibbons, novelist, author of Cold Comfort
- Radclyffe Hall, author of The Well of Loneliness and
- James Holman, 19th-century adventurer known as "the Blind
- Surgeon-General Sir Anthony Home, Victoria
Cross recipient from Indian Mutiny
- Alexander Litvinenko, Russian dissident turned critic, murdered
by poisoning in London
- Sherard Osborn, Royal Navy admiral and Arctic explorer
- Christina Rossetti, poet
- Frances Polidori Rossetti, mother of Dante Gabriel, Christina
and William Michael Rossetti
- William Michael Rossetti, co-founder of the Pre-Raphaelite
- Tom Sayers, Victorian boxer
- Elizabeth Siddal, wife and model of artist/poet Dante Gabriel
- Jean Simmons, actress
- Alfred Stevens, sculptor, painter and designer
- Arthur Waley, translator and scholar of the Orient
- George Wombwell, menagerie exhibitor
- Ellen Wood, author known as Mrs Henry Wood
- Adam Worth, criminal mastermind and philanthropist. Possible
inspiration for Sherlock Holmes' nemesis, Professor Moriarty
- Patrick Wymark, actor
The cemetery contains the graves of 316 Commonwealth service
personnel maintained and registered by the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission, in both the East and West Cemeteries, 257 from the
First World War and 59 from the Second. Those whose graves could
not be marked by headstones are listed on a Screen Wall memorial
erected near the Cross of Sacrifice in the older (western)
- While Highgate Cemetery is often cited as being the inspiration
for Bram Stoker's Dracula, the only reference to it in “Bram
Stoker’s Notes on ‘Dracula’: a Facsimile” by Robert Eighteen-Bisang
and Elizabeth Miller is "“Many people assume that Lucy’s tomb is in
Highgate Cemetery but we are never told where she is
- Several of John Galsworthy's Forsyte Saga novels refer
to Highgate Cemetery as the last resting place of the Forsytes; for
example, Chapter XI, "The Last of the Forsytes," in To Let
- Footage of Highgate appears in numerous British horror films,
including Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970), Tales from
the Crypt (1972) and From Beyond the Grave (1974).
- Part of the 1977 BBC adaptation, Count Dracula, was
filmed in Highgate's west cemetery.Шаблон:Fact
- In the BBC TV series Porridge, Fletcher claims that his
eldest daughter, Ingrid, was conceived on Karl Marx's tomb.
- Herbert Smith is shadowed through Highgate Cemetery in
Visibility, a murder/espionage/thriller by Boris
- Tracy Chevalier's novel Falling Angels is set in and
around Highgate Cemetery.
- Highgate Cemetery is the sixth level of the Nightmare
- Fred Vargas´s novel Un lieu incertain (English title:
An Uncertain Place) starts in Highgate Cemetery.
- Barbara Hambly's vampire novel, Those Who Hunt the
Night, has the main characters visiting Highgate at one point
to examine the remains of a vampire who had taken over an abandoned
- Stated in the acknowledgments as the inspiration for the
setting of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book.
- Audrey Niffenegger's book Her Fearful Symmetry is set in
and around Highgate Cemetery, and she acted as a tour guide there
while researching the book.
- In Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment, Morgan Delt
and his mother visit the grave of Karl Marx.
- A scene from the 2009 film Dorian Gray was filmed in the
Circle of Lebanon.
- The lead characters in Mike Leigh's film High Hopes
(1988) visit Highgate Cemetery to pay homage to Karl Marx.
- In John Betjeman's "On a portrait of a Deaf Man" Betjeman makes
reference to Highgate Cemetery when writing about the death of his
- In the novel Double or Die (2007), a part of the
Young Bond series, Ludwig and Wolfgang Smith plan to kill
Bond in the cemetery.
- In the novel Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow, projectors
are set up in the trees to show films on a wall in the cemetery.
The movies are cobbled together by the main character on his
computer by reassembling footage from popular films he downloads
from the Internet.
As of 1 March 2013, a new pricing structure was implemented at
Highgate Cemetery. The West Cemetery is accessible by guided tour
only, the cost of which has increased to £12 per adult and £6 per
child. However, this now includes access to the East Cemetery and a
map. The tour lasts for approximately one hour.
The cost per adult to access the East Cemetery (self-guiding) is
now £4.00 and also includes a map. The cost of a guided tour of the
East Cemetery is now £8 per adult and £4 per child.
Booking for a weekday tour (13h45) is essential and can be done
via the Cemetery's website. However, weekend tours do not need to
be booked online in advance and tickets can be purchased in person
on the day for tours later that same day. These start at 11h00 and
the last tour during summer hours departs at 16h00.
There are now no longer concessions for students, a decision
taken in line with the policy of the National Trust.