Waking the Dead: Highgate Cemetery, London

yaaaaaaargh! The latest in the ongoing seasonal, pre-Samhain Halloween Necroblog. Last weekend, a crack Blather team descended upon the sprawling Necropolis of London’s Highgate Cemetery. No Vampires were injured in the process…


I visited Highgate Cemetery in London last weekend – was dismayed at first by the restrictions on photography, but was able to take quite a few images while I was. I was hindered by a lack of light, but made the most of it. The whole post-gothic Victorian necropolis is under siege by nature – when entering the Circle of Lebanon (a huge neo-Egyptian mausoleum complex) we even saw a fox. The tour was lead by a stout elderly gentlemen with a walking stick, who puffed and panted his way through the tour. I wondered if he himself would expire before the downhill section started. On a poignant note, it seems that his wife is buried in the cemetery…
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Worzel Tod’s Highgate photos
After October of 1866, Rossetti rarely ventured out of his house in the daytime. He soon developed insomnia and what was a probably psychosomatic affliction of the eyes. Concern about his failing eyesight was perhaps what prompted him to turn back to poetry. Six years after Lizzie’s burial, he tried to recall the poems from the buried manuscript. Finding himself unable to remember satisfactorily, he came up with a plan to remove the notebook from the coffin. This action would, of course, need to be kept strictly confidential because of its sensational nature. On October 5, 1869, a group of men traveled at night to Highgate Cemetery to remove the rotting notebook. It was delivered to Rossetti, who then copied the poems and destroyed the original.
Rossetti and Highgate »

Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery statue
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Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery, Circle of Lebanon
Circle of Lebanon
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Highgate Cemetery, Circle of Lebanon
Circle of Lebanon
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Highgate Cemetery, Circle of Lebanon, Circle of Lebanon
Circle of Lebanon
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Highgate Cemetery, Circle of Lebanon
Circle of Lebanon
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Highgate Cemetery, Circle of Lebanon
Circle of Lebanon
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Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery
Grave of George Wombell, ‘Menagarist’
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Highgate Cemetery
Grave of George Wombell, ‘Menagarist’
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Highgate Cemetery - we will meet again, hands clasping
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Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery
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Highgate Cemetery
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daev
Chief Bottle Washer at Blather
Writer, photographer, environmental campaigner and "known troublemaker" Dave Walsh is the founder of Blather.net, described both as "possibly the most arrogant and depraved website to be found either side of the majestic Shannon River", and "the nicest website circulating in Ireland". Half Irishman, half-bicycle. He lives in southern Irish city of Barcelona.

13 comments

  1. I love the photo of the broken statues, standing guard over the mausoleums. It adds a faux-classical look to graves, which is no doubt what the victorian builders were looking for.

  2. I had some idea of going to Highgate when I was next in London. Why kind of photography restrictions did they have ? It seems that there’s restrictions on photographers in every puplic place I go to these days…

  3. Ah, it was sorta lax. It said ‘photography only allowed with small cameras. no professional photography’. But i had no problems, and I was running around with my 20d.

  4. Hey! Some pictures for the artwork for the album «Midian» from the band Cradle Of Filth have been take at this cemetery… i am sure about it! Check this!

  5. we are cemetery committee members,in Lagos-Nigeria wanting a visitation for a courtesy visit to any cemetery in the Uk.As such needs all relevant information of cemeteries in the Uk for a visit…Thank you.

  6. Hello fellow ghouls!
    Does anybody remember in 1970 of
    a famous grave robbing in the cemetery. I think it concerned The circle of Lebonon, where a skull was taken one night then
    the rest of the mummified body was extricated and left in the front seat of a car hands on wheel?(the owner was not amused)
    I believe a well known ghoul of his day Mr David Farrent was accused of desicrating the grave but subsiquently cleared of all charges because someone else admitted
    the crime.
    I believe the skull was never found the last I heard it was
    last seen on a mantlepiece in
    north London.
    Happy Ghoulsday

  7. Thanks Dave for your contribution.I know I was in Bhagdad while you were in dads bag.

  8. I´ve been there once,14 years ago.As far as I can remember,there were no particular photo restrictions back then,but then again I didn´t(which I regret)bring a camera.I love the pictures,it was even more wonderful than I remember it!

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