If you are looking for some alternative things to do in London, visit the Highgate Cemetery in North London. The cemetery is said to have some of the finest funerary architecture in the country and is a must-see of lovers of the history of London. The Highgate Cemetery opened in 1839 and was the authorities’ response to London’s growing population. Before being buried in official cemeteries, graveyards and burial grounds were scattered throughout the city wherever was space. Often this meant that bodies were buried between taverns, shops and houses.
In early 1800 London’s population had grown to around one million which caused an ever increasing lack of burial space. By 1830 health reasons caused the authorities to find a solution and to create space for the dead. Subsequently a number of private cemeteries were opened in the countryside around London. Overlooking London, the location of the Highgate Cemetery and its distinct architecture attracted investments of wealthy individuals. The first person buried in Highgate Cemetery was Elizabeth Jackson, a 36 year old spinster of Golden Square in Soho on 26 May 1839.
In 1854 the eastern part of the cemetery was opened. There are now more than 170,000 people buried in 53,000 graves. The most notable person buried in the Highgate Cemetery is probably Karl Marx. Both, the West and the East Cemetery can be visited.
The East Cemetery can be visited daily for an admission fee of £4 for adults. The East Cemetery is home to Karl Marx’s grave which you cannot miss due to its large size.
Admission to the Highgate West Cemetery is by guided tour only. Don’t leave Highgate Cemetery without having visited the West Cemetery which is home to the most impressive architecture of the Highgate Cemetery. The tour lasts around 70min and is £12 for adults. Tours run several times per day. Check out Highgate Cemetery’s homepage for more information. I love this part of the cemetery as it has some really spooky atmosphere. Too bad you can only visit by guided tour. Would be the ideal location for telling scary ghost stories :)
Some Architectural Beauty in North London..
On the way to Highgate Cemetery you will come across this beautiful building just on the corner of Chester Road and Swain’s Lane. Beautiful North London :)