I joined a walking tour in Highgate. It's a nice suburb of North London. It is also one of the more expensive suburbs to live in and has an active conservation society, The Highgate Society, to protect its character. It's also is noteworthy for its Cemetery and Georgian architecture.
A Brief History of Highgate Cemetery
When burial conditions in London became intolerable in the early 19th Century, Parliament authorised the creation of seven private Cemeteries within the periphery of inner London. Of these Highgate was opened in 1839 (the West Cemetery) and extended in 1854 (the East Cemetery).
In 1975 it had ceased to be financially viable and the owners closed down the West Cemetery, keeping the newer, East Cemetery, open for the time being. The main buildings had become dilapidated and the landscape choked with brambles and self sown sycamores. Motivated by the Highgate Society, the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust was formed to do what it could, though this was little more than checking the unwanted vegetation and it was not until 1981 when the freehold of both parts of the Cemetery was acquired that real progress was possible. The Friends of Highgate Cemetery (FOHC) became entirely responsible for the management of the Cemetery and thanks to five years assistance form the Manpower Services Commission, to over fifteen years of generous financial support and ready help from English Heritage, and in particular to FOHC Trust subscribing members and to on-site working volunteers who in this period saved many hundreds of thousands of pounds by doing work that otherwise would have had to be paid for, brought about the position to day when:
All major buildings and several memorials have been conserved or restored.
The Cemetery is listed by English Heritage as of "outstanding historical and architectural interest"
The landscape has been so developed that it is now listed as a Grade II* Park
In 2000 AD an award was received from Europa Nostra for conservation/restoration work in the Lebanon Circle which was judged among the best in Europe.
Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust(FOHC) which is a limited liability company, has an entirely owned subsidiary company which deals with burials, undertakers, grave digging, provision of memorials, and landscape management. It is still vital however that there is as much help as possible from volunteer workers.
Several famous people are buried in High Gate Cemetery: Karl Heinrich Marx, Edward Hodges Baily, Rowland Hill, John Singleton Copley, George Eliot, Michael Faraday, William Friese-Greene, Henry Moore, Elizabeth Eleanor Siddal