A Stroll (And A Chuckle) Through Highgate Cemetery

Today, I met up with some old friends in Highgate, North London. After a hefty dose of coffee and cake, we decided to take a stroll through Highgate cemetery, resting ground of many famous authors, artists, revolutionaries, thinkers.

At first, we were a bit apprehensive about having to pay to get in (£4), but it was truly worth it. Our only regret was that we’d not arrived earlier, as the gates shut at 5pm, giving us just an hour to explore this amazing place. It has everything: dignity, beauty, nature, and, above all, a touch of humour.

White Flowers

Highgate Cemetery 1HC Writer

Funny ;-)

Funny 😉

Married to his job...?

Married to his job…?

HC cross flowersHC IvyHG art graveHC BranchHC butterfliesSisyphus

Probably the cemetery's most famous "resident" - Karl Marx was buried in 1883.

Probably the cemetery’s most famous “resident” – Karl Marx was buried in 1883.

Karl MarxAngelTreeHC schiefHC CrossesYellow Leaf

My chums, Tanja, whom I first met nearly 25 years ago when we were both au-pairing in the Midlands, and her lovely husband Russ.

My chums, Tanja, whom I first met nearly 25 years ago when we were both au-pairing in the Midlands, and her lovely husband Russ.

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39 thoughts on “A Stroll (And A Chuckle) Through Highgate Cemetery

      1. somewonderland

        Or I should stop re-watching those eps of DW and start watching something angel-positive instead. How about Pet Sematary for a change? 😉 or should I stick with Cristine and totally be afraid of my own car turning against me LOL

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Me too… they can be a bit too sombre verging on the creepy. There are people who, as a hobby, do tracings of headstones (there’s a name for this pastime, can’t remember what it is, though). I don’t think I could get into that 😉

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  1. Kim in Fiji

    You got a LOT in an hour. But I feel as if someone should take Doug Adams a towel. (Maybe he’s got one in the casket.) I wonder if there are any plans for righting the wonky monuments. Anyway, I’d be happy to spend 4 pounds to go in – they have to pay for the maintenance somehow.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      Well, it said on a sign that it cost £1000 a day to maintain the cemetery. But some of it is in such a bad state, with headstones toppling over etc, that it makes you wonder what the hell they are spending all that money on!

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  2. linnetmoss

    I adore cemeteries! Especially the really old ones with mossy stones that are tipping over, like in Boston. (Though “really old” is very much a relative thing, LOL.) I didn’t know about this place, and it has just made my “must see” list for the next time I’m there!

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  3. NancyTex

    Guess what I did on my last day in Charleston, yesterday?… I visited one of the oldest cemeteries! I was wondering if it would be in bad taste to share the pics I took, but now you’ve made me less self-conscious about it!

    As creepy as it sounds, I love visiting old cemeteries. I find the headstones, crypts, mausoleums and statuary to be works of art, oftentimes.

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  4. roughseasinthemed

    Nice photos, didn’t know there were newish deads, must be very chic being able to get into Highgate. We visited Pere Lachaise in Paris, luckily on a free day and it was fascinating. Pere Lachaise equivalent of Marx is Jim Morrison.

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  5. joannesisco

    It’s funny to be reading this post when I was just planning an excursion through a prominent cemetery in Toronto. There is so much beauty and unspoken stories in a cemetery and you really captured HIghgate in this post – old, new, classic, contemporary. Wow.

    The “DEAD” stone and the container with the pens and pencils really jumped out at me the most …. and the really old section with the stones all out of kilter.

    Again, beautiful!

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  6. con jamón spain

    Beautiful place. Always end up after at The Flask too for a few beers. Talking of ‘funny’ graves, there’s Spike Milligan’s epitaph of course: Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite ( I told you I was ill).

    Have you read Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger? It’s fantastic, set around Highgate Cemetery and has one of the loveliest openings to a book I (M) have ever read.

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    1. ladyofthecakes Post author

      I was looking for Spike Milligan, but couldn’t find him! I love that epitaph and so wanted a pic 😉

      Thanks for the reading recommendation, I’m always on the lookout for those. It shall go on the list!

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      1. TBM

        Maintenance, statue repair–just guessing. I know when I went on a tour of Brompton cemetery they said they could only afford to maintain a quarter of it at one time. So some parts were neatly kept and others overgrown. I preferred the overgrown bits.

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