During the Victorian Era, Highgate became a fashionable place for burials especially with it being located on a hill, above the smoke of the city. The century’s attitudes to death and presentation led to a rise of gothic tombs and buildings in the London cemetery.
The North London cemetery is divided into two parts: East and West, and has many famous names resting within the grounds. Philosopher Karl Marx and literary legend George Eliot are buried in the cemetery’s East section. More recently, singer George Michael is also buried there, but his grave is a private plot, inaccessible to the general public.
Other notable people laid to rest within the grounds include the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Douglas Adams, Charles Dickens’s wife Catherine Dickens, and founder of the world’s largest dog show, Charles Cruft.
The famous resting ground is well-known for its greenery. Today, the cemetery grounds are filled with trees, wildflowers and shrubs, which in turn attracts a whole host of interesting wildlife; particularly birds and foxes. The cemetery features an Egyptian Avenue and a Circle of Lebanon which showcases winding paths leading to tombs and vaults dug into the hillside.
While Highgate cemetery is open to the public, the oldest section only allows admission for tour groups, to protect the ground’s collections of Victorian mausoleums and intricately carved graves. To find out more and book a tour, visit highgatecemetery.org/visit.