Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Highgate Cemetery, London

Note: Please use Chrome to render the photospheres properly. Also, please donot open it on mobile devices - Chrome crashes! Apologies for the same.

The Highgate Cemetery is definitely one of London's hidden gems. It is an enchanting place, with a wonderful juxtaposition of thriving flora upon memorials for the dead.

In the middle of the East Cemetery.

Being one among the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries consecrated in the 19th century, it is a treasure trove of anecdotes about the Victorian attitude to death. This is a must-visit if you have the time - if only to listen to the wonderful London-centric tales that the volunteer guides weave.

Entering the "Egyptian Avenue" - a depiction of Victorian fascination with discoveries of ancient Egyptian treasures.

Some of my favourite stories include the one about "The Only Dead Elephant in the Fair", an account about the ingenuity of George Wombwell, who's tomb has a realistic majestic lion Nero made out of stone/concrete(?) resting on top of it, and the tale about the many fights of Tom Sayers, whose tomb is guarded by a huge stone mastiff, Lion, who was apparently the chief mourner at his funeral which reportedly attracted over 80,000 people.

An brief introduction to the site - given in front of the tomb of coachman James William Selby, who still holds the coach record of seven hours and fifty minutes for London to Brighton return journey.

The only reason I came by it was because I found out 18 months ago that my most favourite person in this whole wide dimension, Mr Douglas Noel Adams, is buried here. Well, atleast his ashes are. Not that he would care. But I did visit the headstone, and strangely, felt very emotional just being there, looking at all the pens and dolphin dolls balanced on the pale grey rectangular memorial. One comes across many charming stories of names that have become a part of the history.

The Circle of Lebanon - an aesthetically designed group of family vaults supporting a 300 year old Cedar tree.

Do check out for more information.

PS: The reason most of these photospheres are incomplete/crap is because I went there as a part of a 1-hour tour, and we hardly had any time to stop and take photos. That said, the guide did suggest that one could talk to the management and arrange a private photography tour. Do drop me a mail at if you are interested, and we could possibly arrange a proper photowalk :)

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