So I would advise you to get a cup of tea or coffee and cake if you like and enjoy my little tour of Highgate Cemetery West
London Cemetery over the entrance
Once the gates are opened you meet in the chapel for the tour. There is a trapdoor beneath where I am stood which used to take coffins from this chapel via an underground tunnel to the other cemetery on hallowed ground because the Bishop of London consecrated the tunnel.
The ceiling in the chapel is quite ornate
Which has a few memorial on the walls
There are also stained glass windows to see as well
After being checking in we meet across from the entrance & chapel. There were two, one for the Anglican community and another for the Dissenters. The Dissenters is one is now used as a office for the trust which owns the place now.
After climbing some steep steps you see the first of the cemetery
One of the first graves were shown was this one of a former coachman Jim Selby, he won a bet on driving a coach & horses from London to Brighton & back in Under 8 hours. He won. You can read about it in the blog I found
Not far away we passed the grave of Sir Henry Knight Storks who supported the nursing efforts of Florence Nightingale The grave on the right is of David Wellesley Bell
The graves are close together with the odd vault. The one on the right is belonging to the family of General Sir Loftus Otway
You may remember a few years ago that Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with radionuclide polonium-210, well he is buried here on the left.
Where Looking round I was amazed by the place
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. and the first person buried here a few days later was Elizabeth Jackson of Little Windmill Street, Soho, on 26 May
There are some wonderful memorials around like the Angel and the Lion which is on the tomb of George Wombwell the Lion his favorite Nero
Thomas Sayers the bare-knuckle prize fighter. The dog which guards the grave is a mastiff called Lion and was chief mourner at his funeral because he said it loved him more than his wife who was estranged from him and living with another man. 10,000 people lined the streets to watch the procession go by.
I'm told this grave with the horse is in the dissenters side and belongs to Queen Victoria's hose slaughter. It's thought that was made up and was just for show
Lots of angels in evidence as you walk around in various poses. We were told the meanings of them but I forgot what they were.
you access along this old tunnel which has had the roof removed. They all have an Egyptian theme to them
You can walk round the inside
One of them is where you can have your ashes stored and there is room for around 900 caskets, it was not popular and there are still spaces if you are interested. The vault on the right is is that of Radcliffe Hall and her lover
check out the Vault of Julius Beer
Two of the headstones in Highate Cemetery
Norman Denzil Warne who is listed on here was the finance of Beatrix Potter but died while she was away and buried before she returned for the funeral. She visited once and after seeing the cemetery and how depressing the place was never returned
Some of the amazing tombs you can see as you walk along the paths
The odd one covered in thick ivy vines
I liked the headstone on the left how it was like a tree trunk. The headstone on the right is that of Christina Rossetti Her Brother Gabriel Rossetti Who founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, is buried there as well
On the last part of our tour we passed these vaults as couple of which were only a few years old, must have cost a fortune to have one built
Just be for we returned to the start point we passed these two headstones. One is Philip Harben a celebrity chief I remember seeing on TV and Patrick Wymark who was an actor I remember seeing on TV and film. Ironically he was in a film called Blood on Satins Claw which was filmed in Old Bix |Church near Henley which I have also written a blog on
I'll leave you with this beautiful sleeping Angel who was only discovered after the ivy was pulled back. She lasted all though years till a few weeks ago when a branch fell and broke the tip of her wing. You will be glad to learn she will be restored.
Have a Wonderful Weekend