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Highgate: East Cemetery

21 June 2014

One of the best parts of having one's parents in town is showing them where you live and work (or in my case, volunteer) and last Saturday that is just what I did when I took them for a walk through Highgate Cemetery in leafy North London.
I specifically wanted them to enjoy a West Cemetery tour led by Ian (one of the cemetery's trustees and an excellent tour guide) so we bought tickets for a later tour and walked over to the self-guided East Cemetery (admission is included in the price of the West Cemetery tour).
Being a dog lover, I always enjoy this particular statue/grave (above) which reminds me of our family's wonderful Sheba who passed away in 2006.
Me and Shadow in 2002.
Moving on...
 One of my favourite things about Highgate Cemetery are the epitaphs written on the grave stones. I wish I could have known quite a few of these individuals. Are you not a bit curious what made this young woman (who died at 23 years old) so fair and so brave?
 And look at such a creative headstone - "Stoney" - below that perfectly mirrors the man's nickname.
 My favourite of course has to be the great Victorian authoress, Mary Ann Cross - better known as George Eliot, who is buried next to her daughter and a good number of those connected to her, including her lover, George Henry Lewes, and publisher, John Chapman.
 Nearby to George Eliot's grave lies the most famous resident at Highgate Cemetery (East) - Karl Marx. It amazes me how many people from the world round come to the cemetery and pay the entrance fee just to see Marx' grave.  It is quite massive, no?
 But moving on... angels are common markers from the Victorian period. This child angel clinging to the remains of a cross is a beautiful example.
Being that it is summer, the floral is lavish and rich assaulting the senses.
 And check out this gorgeous piano memorial for classical pianist, Shura Cherkassky, that is found just off the main path.
Another couple graves include immortal books as part of their memorials.
 A special monument in the East Cemetery is Fireman's Corner that was erected in 1934 by LFB widows and orphans.
If you wish to wander an hour or so in Highgate East Cemetery - the admission charge of £4 (adults) is well worth the visit. You may buy tickets at the gate up to 1/2 an hour before closing time. Admission is also included if you buy a tour ticket for the West Cemetery (£12 per adult) but those tours need to be booked in advance unless you visit on the weekends.

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