A visit to Highgate Cemetery


Hello gentle reader,

this week again I’m taking part in the Thursday’s Children meme hosted by Rhiann Wynn-Nolet and Kristina Perez. It is “a weekly blog hop where writers come together to talk about whatever inspires them.”

A couple of weeks ago I visited Highgate Cemetery in London.

“The cemetery 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. In 1839, fifteen acres were consecrated for the use of the Church of England, and two acres set aside for Dissenters.

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.

The cemetery’s grounds are full of trees, shrubbery and wild flowers, all 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. The oldest section, which holds an impressive collection of Victorian mausoleums and gravestones, plus elaborately carved tombs, allows admission only in tour groups. The newer eastern section, which contains a mix of Victorian and modern statuary, can be toured unescorted.”


Here are a few of the pictures I took during the tour (if you use them elsewhere please mention my name, thanks!):

EM Castellan Highgate 1

EM Castellan - Highgate 2

EM Castellan - Highgate 4

EM Castellan - Highgate 5

EM Castellan - Highgate 7

EM castellan - Highgate 8

What have you been up to this summer? Feel free to leave me a comment below, and to visit the other Thursday’s Children here.

12 thoughts on “A visit to Highgate Cemetery

  1. Isabelle says:

    I love cemeteries so so much. This was such a great post!

  2. Lauren Garafalo says:

    This sounds amazing! I hope I get to visit it someday. Loved your pictures too! ❤

  3. Bridget says:

    Awesome photos, Eve!

  4. Laura Oliva says:

    Am I weird for thinking cemeteries are beautiful? Probably.

    I’ve been going to San Francisco a lot recently. It’s amazing; I’ve lived in the Bay Area my entire life, but SF has always remained something of a mystery. Now, I’m about to start writing a series set there, so I’m determined to make her give up her secrets! 😉

    • sugaropal says:

      No Laura, you’re not weird. I ADORE old cemeteries (even set one of my books in one) and visit them often. I also discovered something interesting about SF cemeteries during research for that book…

  5. Kate Michael says:

    Oh my God. I’m so freaking jealous. It’s STUNNING. I’ma write a story about it so I can justify visiting it.

  6. sugaropal says:

    I am really, really jealous. What an atmospheric place. A London-based agent offered to take me there if I ever visit (she was the first to make me an offer of rep). If I ever get to London again it’s definitely on the “must see” list!

  7. Lena Corazon says:

    Oooh, gorgeous, and a fascinating bit of history! In San Francisco, all the city’s cemeteries were closed in the 1930s, with the bodies exhumed and moved to cemeteries in a town a few miles away (the joke remains that the town is nothing but dead bodies and, today, car dealerships, lol). As a result, the older parts of the cemeteries are quite pretty, but don’t have the sort of historical feel as this one. Thank you for sharing it with us!

  8. I adore Highgate Cemetery! My sister-in-law lives just beside it and part of my WIP is set there 😉

  9. Oh wow! I’d LOVE to go there! 🙂


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