Tuesday, April 9, 2013

H is for Highgate Cemetery

Welcome to the A-Z challenge, where we'll be blogging our way through the alphabet throughout the month of  April. My theme will be places--it may be a specific place, a state, or a country. It will be whatever I think is spooky, beautiful, or intriguing. I'll be rating each stop on the way with those factors, with 5 being the highest score, and 1 being the lowest score. I hope it will inspire any writers, or travelers out there in Bloggerland. So, thanks for stopping by, and enjoy!

H = Highgate Cemetery 

We have left Scotland, and have arrived at our eighth stop on our tour today in north London, England. In the early 19th century, London was experiencing high mortality rates, and there wasn't enough space for burial. Parliament opened seven new private cemeteries to be opened in the countryside around the capital. These cemeteries were Kensal Green 1833, West Norwood 1836, Highgate 1839, Abney Park 1840, Brompton 1840, Ninhead 1840, and Tower Hamlets 1841. Also known as the "Magnificent Seven."

In 1839 fifteen acres was set aside for members of the Church of England, and two acres for "others." May of 1839 was the first burial in Highgate, Elizabeth Jackson. Apparently Highgate was the place to be buried, and became the capitals most fashionable place to rest in peace. The monuments became more eccentric, as families outdid each other, but by the 1960's it became rundown. It wasn't until the 80's that the cemetery had a restoration. The grounds are still full of flowers, trees, and shrubs that have been left to grow wild. Looking at the pictures below you can see why the Highgate Cemetery has intrigued me.

                                                                     Unknown grave
                                                      Circle of Lebanon, West Cemetery

Karl Marx grave, East Cemetery. Karl was a philosopher, historian, sociologist, economist, and  
                                            Entrance to the Egyptian Avenue, West Cemetery 

 Tales have been told of strange activity at the Highgate Cemetery--sinister cults holding ceremonies in the abandoned  ruins before the restoration, a vampire in the old part of the cemetery, and ghostly sightings.

This city of the dead is chock full of history, and beauty. Are you scared, or would you visit this site?

Spook factor: 2
Intrigue factor: 4
Beauty factor: 5


Grover said...

Is this the cemetery mentioned in 'Her Fearful Symmetry' (Audrey Niffenegger)? I didn't really like the book, but your pictures make me want to visit!

Inane Ramblings

Spanj said...

Ever since reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, I've been desperate to visit Highgate Cemetary, but didn't manage to get there last time I was in London. One day.

Crystal Collier said...

Hah! Scared? I love cemeteries. Beautiful pictures. =)

Julie Flanders said...

I would definitely visit, but maybe only during the day LOL. Looks like a fascinating place.

Valerie said...

This place looks epic!


Valerie Nunez and the Flying Platypi

Fairview said...

Your write ups make me want to visit all these places!

Mike Keyton said...

Yup, can recommend Highgate - especially in twilight