A Curious Invitation present London Month of the Dead
THE MYSTERIES OF THE MAUSOLEA
A guided tour of Highgate Cemetery West led by Dr Ian Dungavell
Sunday 16th October at 10:00 am

Built in 1839 on the model of Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, Highgate Cemetery was one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries, opened by the Victorians to relieve the strain on Central London’s overflowing church graveyards. The Egyptian entrance gate, flanked by two enormous obelisks, reflects the contemporary fashion for Egyptology. A tomb-lined avenue leads to the Circle of Lebanon at whose heart is an ancient cedar tree, like a massive bonsai, its base surrounded by a circle of mausolea. The top of the cemetery is dominated by the mausoleum of the Beer family which was modelled on the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Michael Faraday, Lucian Freud, Stella Gibbons and Christina Rossetti are all buried here.

This is a rare opportunity to look inside some of the mausolea which the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust have restored, and to admire the care and attention which people have devoted to the memory of their loved ones. Led by DR IAN DUNGAVELL, architectural historian and chief executive of Highgate Cemetery.

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Meeting instructions: Meet at the entrance to Highgate Cemetery West, Swain’s Lane, London N6 6PJ. The tour will leave promptly at 10am and latecomers will not be admitted. As the cemetery will be locked, participants will need to stay with the group for the duration of the tour, about 90 minutes.

Access: Some paths in the cemetery are steep and there are two flights of steps without handrails. Participants should be able to stand for 90 minutes and walk uphill at a gentle pace.

Photography is not permitted inside some mausolea.

Click here for directions to the cemetery.

The Venue - Bromptoon Cemetery