Der Highgate Cemetery ist einer der bekanntesten Friedhöfe Londons. Als einer der “Magnificent Seven” und eines der weltweit schönsten Beispiele für einen Gartenfriedhof ist er einer der faszinierendsten Orte in Highgate.
Stroll the winding paths and stand among the ash trees to pay your last respects to your favorite author. Or simply visit to learn more about the cemetery on a guided tour.
Er ist zwar nicht der älteste Friedhof Londons, aber er bietet eine spektakuläre Kulisse und ist einer der ungewöhnlichsten – und interessantesten – Tagesausflüge in London. Entdecke mehr mit diesem Insider-Guide.
Ein Friedhof ist immer ein düsterer Ort, aber Highgate ist auch ein feierlicher Ort. Du wirst Teile davon wiedererkennen, wenn du Francis Ford Coppolas “Dracula” oder den neueren Diane-Keaton-Film “Hampstead” gesehen hast – mit Brendan Gleeson in der Rolle eines Mannes, der in einer Hütte auf dem Friedhof lebt, der gleichzeitig der nahe gelegene Park Hampstead Heath ist. Die Schriftsteller George Eliot und Douglas Adams, die Punk-Ikone der 60er und 70er Jahre Malcolm McLaren und der Maler Patrick Caulfield sind nur einige der vielen, die auf dem East Cemetery begraben sind.
The West Cemetery, laid out in 1839 and covered with foliage, is undoubtedly the most atmospheric part and well worth a visit. Shady paths lead past gloomy catacombs, magnificent tombs of pharaohs and the graves of famous personalities such as the poet Christina Rossetti, the scientist Michael Faraday and the poisoned Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko.
Why should you visit Highgate Cemetery?
Highgate Cemetery is the final resting place of many famous writers, musicians, philosophers and some pretty wealthy people. It has incredible architecture, mausoleums and individual graves in an eerie Gothic setting. In other words: Why wouldn't you visit it?
Although both sides of the cemetery are now open to visitors with their own guided tours (previously you could only enter the West Cemetery as part of a guided tour), there are still areas of the West Cemetery that are not accessible and are best explored with a guide.
If you want to visit only one part of the cemetery (separate tickets are available for both), you should opt for the Western Cemetery, which contains the most impressive architectural elements of Highgate Cemetery, including the Chapel, Colonnade, Egyptian Alley, Circle of Lebanon, Terraced Catacombs, and Julius Beer's Mausoleum.
Wenn du ein bestimmtes Grab besuchen möchtest, kontaktiere den Friedhof vor deiner Buchung, um eine individuelle Tour zu vereinbaren.
Highgate Cemetery Guided Tours
A guided tour of Highgate Cemetery is worth the extra cost. Your guide will give you insight and knowledge about the history of this 19th century cemetery.
You must buy your ticket online in advance, as they are not sold at the cemetery.
Admission times help manage the number of visitors, but I recommend you arrive 15 minutes early to avoid possible queues.
Tickets for the West Cemetery Guided Tour are £15 for adults and £8 for children. In addition to the tour at Highgate West Cemetery, you can also visit East Cemetery on the same day.
If your tour is in the last half of the day, I recommend you visit the East Cemetery before your tour. The catacombs of Highgate Cemetery are only accessible during the tours and morbidly facinating.
Are you or a family member deaf? On select weekends, you can book a guided tour of the Western Cemetery in sign language. The British Sign Language interpreter provides a 70-minute interpretation in spoken English in addition to the guided tour.
The East Cemetery is more accessible to wheelchair users because the paths are mostly paved and have slight inclines. The West Cemetery is somewhat less accessible due to the steep paths and two flights of stairs, but has a handicapped accessible restroom.
Famous graves at Highgate Cemetery
Of the famous graves in Highgate Cemetery, Karl Marx's is probably the best known. Below you can learn more about these important personalities and their gravesites.
The east area of Highgate Cemetery is the final resting place of Karl Marx. Born in Trier, Germany, in 1818, Karl Marx studied law and philosophy, shaping his political philosophy of socialism that has shaped the modern world.
Du wirst feststellen, dass sein Grab eine riesige Büste hat. Der geschnitzte Kopf sitzt auf einem Granitgrabstein mit der Aufschrift “Arbeiter aller Länder vereinigt euch”.
Karl was originally buried in his wife's grave. The monument with his bust was placed in a more prominent location in 1956. This site is located in the East Cemetery and is not visited as part of guided tours, so you should visit it on your own during your tour.
The funeral of British singer-songwriter George Michael at Highgate Cemetery West resulted in scores of fans flocking to his grave. The tiny 30-seat chapel hosted a private service with family and close friends in March 2017.
George's final resting place is next to his mother in the family's private plot in West Cemetery. A gray stone cross adorns the spot and white flower blossoms surround it.
If you would like to visit George Michael's grave, you must make a request as it will not be visited during the guided tour.
The literary work of author George Eliot is covered in many high schools. It will come as no surprise to these students that the author was actually a woman who wrote under a male pseudonym.
At the time, female authors could publish, but Evans wanted to escape the stereotype that women only write about lighthearted or romantic subjects. And so her works, which include Middlemarch, Silas Marner and Daniel Deronda, were published under a male pseudonym.
Sowohl das Pseudonym als auch ihr richtiger Name – Mary Ann Evans – stehen auf ihrem Grabstein.
She rests beside her extramarital partner, George Henry Lewes, from whom she took the pseudonym. Evans chose the last name Eliot because it sounded pleasant and was easy to pronounce. How fitting.
Despite a simple tombstone in the form of a pointed arch, Michael Faraday is one of the most important people buried in the West Cemetery. His research on electromagnetism and electrochemistry formed scientific foundations that are still valid today.
Although he enjoyed little formal education, Michael Faraday left an important legacy worth celebrating.
Ihm zu Ehren wird die Einheit für die in einem Kondensator gespeicherte Ladungsmenge “Farad” genannt.
Wenn du ein Fan der sechs Bücher der “Per Anhalter durch die Galaxis”-Reihe bist, möchtest du vielleicht das Grab des Autors Douglas Adams besuchen. Der 2001 verstorbene Autor war ein englischer Schriftsteller, Hörspielkomiker und Musiker.
Adams hatte eine Vorliebe für die Band Pink Floyd und teilte den Titel seiner Biografie mit dem Namen des Songs “Wish you were here”.
Fans auf der ganzen Welt feiern das Leben des Autors an einem Tag, der als “Towel Day” bekannt ist und eine humorvolle Anspielung auf Douglas’ Werk darstellt.
Julius Beer was a German-born English businessman who made his fortune on the London Stock Exchange. From 1870 until his death in 1880, he was the owner of The Observer newspaper.
Julius Beer's mausoleum is one of the most spectacular in West Cemetery. The millionaire newspaper owner spent 5000 pounds to build the most impressive monument in the cemetery at the time. The four walls consist of arches with intertwined glass windows.
Inside the structure there is a sculpture of an angel comforting a child, representing his daughter Ada, who died at the age of 8. In addition to his daughter, Julius, his wife, brother and son also find their final resting place in the Beer Mausoleum.
Auf dem Grabstein von Malcolm McLaren steht: “Lieber ein spektakulärer Misserfolg als ein harmloser Erfolg”. Malcolm war ein englischer Unternehmer, Künstler, Musiker und Bekleidungsdesigner.
He is best known for his work as a promoter and manager of the bands New York Dolls and Sex Pistols. His fans celebrate Malcolm's contribution to the London music scene to this day.
His final resting place is on the east side of Highgate Cemetery, where he died in 2010. On his tombstone is a bronze death mask under his initials.
Ironischerweise liegt die Asche des politischen Theoretikers Herbert Spencer fast direkt gegenüber von Karl Marx auf dem Ostfriedhof. Seine Theorie des Sozialdarwinismus ist die Antithese zu Marx’ sozialistischer Theorie.
This man's final resting place is marked by a modest rectangular granite headstone.
Herbert Spencer glaubte, dass die Prinzipien der Evolution auf menschliche Gesellschaften und die Entwicklung der menschlichen Spezies im Laufe der Zeit anwendbar sind. Auf ihn geht der Ausdruck “survival of the fittest” zurück.
The story of Highgate Cemetery Vampire
How haunted is Highgate Cemetery? Not surprisingly, the 19th century cemetery is one of the most haunted places in London.
In the 70s, a story appeared in the media about a vampire roaming the area, causing a stir among believers in the supernatural.
The story begins with the discovery of several animals found dead and drained of blood near the cemetery.
The news spread throughout the country and led to two men, Allan Farrant and Sean Manchester, vying to catch the culprit.
Allan Farrant vowed to end the vampire's life. He set out on the evening of the full moon to drive a wooden stake through the vampire's heart.
Ironically, police caught Farrant that evening because he was on fenced property for an unauthorized purpose.
Experts on supernatural phenomena at the time criticized Farrant for using a wooden stake and claimed that this was just something out of Dracula.
Manchester's bidding was no more successful. He claimed to have found a suspicious body in one of the vaults, but left it lying amid garlic and incense instead of driving a stake through its heart when one of his companions advised him not to.
Practical tips for visiting Highgate Cemetery
The cemetery can be muddy in places and some paths are steep, so wear sensible footwear. With the exception of assistance dogs, no animals are allowed in the cemetery.
You are welcome to take photos during your visit, but not when a funeral is in progress or family members are visiting their loved ones.
How to get to Highgate Cemetery
Due to limited street parking and restrictions on surrounding streets during the week, it is advisable to reach the cemetery on foot, by bicycle or by public transportation.
By Bike: There is a bike rack outside the gates of West Cemetery and another one further down the hill if it is full.
Subway: Get off at the Archway tube station. To reach Highgate Cemetery, either walk or take the bus 143, 210 or 217 to Waterlow Park and then walk through the park to the entrance.
Straße: Swain’s Lane ist eine Einbahnstraße, die von Süden her befahren wird. Bitte beachte, dass es keine Parkplätze vor Ort gibt, aber eine kleine Anzahl von Behindertenparkplätzen vor dem Eingang.
Bus: Steig an der Bushaltestelle C2 oder C11 aus, bevor du die Swain’s Lane in Richtung Norden zum Eingang gehst. Alternativ kannst du auch den Bus 143, 210 oder 217 nehmen und an der Haltestelle Waterlow Park aussteigen, bevor du durch den Park zum Eingang des Highgate Cemetery gehst.
My summary & recommendation
The guides, for both East and West Cemetery, are fantastic. I took the West Cemetery tour and Liz, the guide that day, was brilliant. She provided wonderful information about the cemetery itself, how the graves were built, where the stones came from, and offered insightful details about the lives of the famous residents. It is both fascinating and morbid to read the final inscriptions on the various memorial stones, and one leaves the cemetery with a deep respect for the lives that were truly lived.
As I said, Highgate Cemetery is a must-see, a welcome, inexpensive, and slightly different outing than the brilliant museums and art galleries in London. It is incredibly moving.