Highgate Cemetery & Parliament Hill


Before beginning my study abroad here in London, I was a tad worried over everyone saying how cold and rainy England is in the winter. Although the UK is having its rainiest winter in the past several hundred years with terrible flooding in the south, there ares still many days where the sun is shining with perfect temperature outside. We have learned over here to cherish these days and try to explore outside when we can.

Highgate Cemetery in north London is the final resting place for many famous people including Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, Malcolm McLaren, George Eliot and the parents of Charles Dickens. The cemetery runs over 37 acres and is quite different than the pristine cemeteries typically seen in America. The tombstones are scattered over the property in a kind of loop with rows inside the loops. The amount of trees and vines growing over and around the memorials was erie and looks as though they haven’t been well taken care of. Other memorials had small gardens over where the body was laid that were well taken care of. The cemetery is also thought to be one of the oat haunted in the UK with sighting s of Ghouls and vampires on several instances since the 1960’s. Sadly we didn’t have any out of this world haunted experiences while visiting the graves. Highgate cemetery has many different kinds of people resting on its property with very old tombs of the rich and wealthy to more recent burials in the past few years. It was sad seeing the inscriptions of some tombstones where kids were buried, some as young as a few months old. The ornate angels and crosses topping the tombs were very neat to see. The most famous grave is most likely Karl Marx who’s new memorial has the words, ‘Workers of all lands unite’. Karl Marx’s original tombstone was simple, and very easy to miss and walk by, so his supporters decided to move his remains to a more elaborate monument style memorial.

Original Marx grave
New memorial

After walking through the cemetery we walked over to nearby Parliament Hill where there were many people out walking and playing sports on the assorted courts and fields. After a short hike up the hill, the top provided quite the view of London. You could see the whole downtown and both financial centers where all the towers stood out in the distance. There was a little sign at the top pointing out and identifying all the buildings in the distance. Looking the other way you could seed the small little town in the hills where the cemetery was located. It was strange only being 5 or 6 miles away from the center of London and yet the area was so quiet and peaceful without tourist and cabs buzzing around.



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