Last week seemed like a good time to visit a Victorian cemetery, so we trained into London to see Highgate Cemetery. It was the first private cemetery to be built outside of London, to bury the growing number of dead Londoners. It opened in 1839 and although it is still occasionally used, it's mostly fallen to ruin as the families of the inhabitants have died out.
Victorians were pompous in death, as in life. Gothic monuments, now crumbling and grown over with vines, are crowded in the cemetery. Stone angels, draped urns, and Egyptian obelisks line pebbled paths. Once fashionable mausoleums are now covered with cobwebs. Sentimental statues depicting the pets (including a pet lion) are left to stand guard from the tourists who make the steep hike up Highgate Hill to the cemetery.
Be sure to check out all the photos below...there's a ghost in one!
Inside the entrance to the private Highgate Cemetery.
Down an angel-lined lane.
The entrance to a mausoleum, covered with cobwebs.
The grave of the 19th century menagerist,George Wombwell.
A cedar of Lebanon growing inside the Circle of Lebanon, a circle of family mausoleums.
Thomas Sayers, a world-famous pugilist, was buried in Highgate while over 10,000 mourners joined the funeral courtage. His dog Lion guards his grave.
An angel, lying in repose.
If you look closely, you can see the ghost coming from this Victorian grave.