Highgate Cemetery

Until the mid nineteenth century most people expected to be buried in their local churchyard. The mortality rate in Victorian London was high and the churches were running out of space. The solution was to permit the building of seven large private cemeteries outside the city.

The London Cemetery Company opened Highgate in 1839 (and an extension (the East Cemetery) across the road in 1854).

The London Cemetery Company at Highgate

The London Cemetery Company at Highgate

By 1975 the cemetery had fallen into disrepair and was closed. Fortunately the Friends of Highgate Cemetery charity was formed who now care lovingly for it. Visit their website (see below) for more history and information on visiting.

The cemetery's best known features are the Egyptian Avenue, the Terrace Catacombs and the Julius Beer Mausoleum. Over 166,000 people are buried in 51,000 graves. Perhaps the most famous occupant is Karl Marx in the East cemetery.

You can read about him and some of the other burials on the Sexton's Tales link below (a sexton is someone who looks after a graveyard).

Friends of Highgate Cemetery       Sexton's Tales