I am out of the closet (or should that be the crypt?) as a self-proclaimed taphophile. Graveyards have long held a fascination for me and many hours over my fifty plus years have been spent in cemeteries both here in the United Kingdom and across Europe.

On occasion, on my forays into these tranquil spaces, a particular grave will pique my curiosity. This may be for a variety of reasons, an association with local history, an intriguing epitaph or a family connection.... it doesn't take much. The online availability of censuses, official registries and newspaper archives have in recent years made it possible to learn something more about the lives lived by those remembered only as fading names carved in stone. These resources provide an opportunity to put 'flesh on old bones' as the turn of phrase goes, hence the title of this blog 'Beyond the Grave'.

If anyone reading these posts has anything to add please feel free to contact me at adrianandrews@myyahoo.com.

Saturday 11 June 2022

'The Lost Girls' of Highgate Cemetery West


Within the Highgate Cemetery complex lie the mortal remains of many thousands of people, all lovingly remembered in tender words or bold proclamations of their worldly achievements and deeds. However, for me the most heart rending plot was pointed out to our small party by the tour guide in the last few minutes of our 90 minute amble in the grounds. And a good job too that it was pointed out as there is in fact absolutely nothing to see. Immediately in front of a buttress of the perimeter wall there is a plot no marker, or even any indication that it is in fact a burial plot.

This unremarkable patch of sparse greenery sits on top of earth that conceals a terrible and highly poignant reminder of the inequalities that existed within Victorian Society. Surrounded as it is by thousands of tons of masonry and marble raised in the memory of eminent Victorians, this particular hole in the ground is more crowded than many of the grand mausoleums close by. No fewer than ten females, young girls and women. In life they would have been described as 'fallen women', those whose actions were considered to have contravened the strict moral codes of the age. Some would have been engaged in prostitution whilst others were condemned as such for having engaged in sexual relations outside of the sanctity of marriage.

In the mid 1880's (the heyday period for Highgate Cemetery), in London alone it was estimated that some 20,000 people were involved in prostitution, many were very young, barely teenagers. It was as late as 1885 when the age of consent was raised in the UK from 13 to 16 years of age. Prior to 1875, this had stood at just 12 years of age!

In an era before the existence of the Welfare State, the options open to the poor and destitute were very limited, with entry into the dreaded workhouse being an action of last resort. In the absence of a centralised welfare system it was down to religious organisations, temperance groups and wealthy philanthropists to offer relief for the plight of the poorest and least respected members of society.

One such organisation was the London Diocesan Penitentiary (LDP) which was formed in 1853 through a generous financial gift. It's raison d'etre was the 'reception and reformation of penitent fallen women'. In 1855, the LDP had obtained a lease on a property known as Park House in the Hillcrest area of Highgate. In 1861, the building and some surrounding land were acquired. The mansion was originally a family passed into the 'care' sector upon becoming an 'Asylum for Idiots' under a Reverend Andrew Reed. Under the LDC the institution also became known as the Highgate Penitentiary or the Highgate House of Correction.

Park House, Highgate

Upon referral from a cleric or another institution of refuge women could be accepted into the House of Mercy if they were penitent of their former sins and able to give 'practical proof of their desire to foresake the ways of evil'. If a woman successfully passed a two month period of probation, she would be accepted as an inmate of the Penitentiary for a period of two years. This period of habitation was divided into four periods of six months during which time she would be involved in the initiatory, the laundry, the domestic and the kitchen. During the six month initiatory period, inmates would be engaged in activities such as needlework and where.... 'habits of self-restraint - ever the great difficulty in cases of this kind - are inculcated' (the patricentric language applied here is not of my choosing but rather from a published funding drive by the LDP itself, which is reproduced below). In addition to the practical and heavy domestic work that the women were expected to engage in daily, the penitentiary staff, Anglican ministers, such as the Reverend John Oliver, and live in ladies of independent means, strove to improve the reading, writing and arithmetic skills of the inmates. All of this training over the two year period was intended to give the women the means of living a life free of sin and vice after leaving the penitentiary. Some women married after passing through, whilst the aim for the majority was to attain a good position in service. In this respect, it would seem that, at least according to their own published appeals for charitable donations, Highgate Penitentiary, enjoyed considerable success, with the demand for Highgate trained domestics outdoing the supply.

All in all, it seems that the Highgate Penitentiary a good institution in an age when alternatives were few. The regime was said to be strict but fair. The stated fact that after leaving the house several of the girls contributed monies earned from their paltry wages from their domestic service positions do suggest that the institution was benign.

The plot in which the women are buried is unmarked and yet the names of all of those interred are known. This information was published I believe in the Ham & High (the newspaper serving the Hampstead and Highgate areas) in 2014.

The aforementioned Reverend John Oliver purchased the plot in 1862, when Emma Jones, the youngest inmate of the Penitentiary according to the property's 1861 census entry when her age was recorded as 10 years, died. She was just 12 years old. 

The plot contains the remains of the following women:

Emma Jones, 12, died 1862
Anna Williams, 15, died 1869
Caroline Harriet Rhodes, 19, 1874
Emily Potter, 21, died 1878
Harriet Smith, 17, died 1880
Frances Iliffe, 14, died 1881
Maude Clabby, 18, died 1882
Rosetta Edwards, 20, died 1900
Ada Rebecca Ingram, 40, died 1907
Agnes Ellis, 29, died 1909

I find it sad that there is no headstone to mark the loss of these ten young lives, given the fact that their names were known. I am happy to be corrected here but this would represent a private grave plot as it had been purchased by Reverend Oliver in 1862. This is as opposed to a 'common grave' that is not allowed a marker. Maybe the rules were different because the cemetery was owned by a Cemetery Company rather than by the Church. Maybe it was decided that the money spent on a headstone to remember the departed would be better spent on the living inmates of Highgate Cemetery? 

Perhaps, the time has come to fund some manner of marker to these unfortunate women....

Below is an article published in the London Mirror of September 1873 that describes the purpose, structure and management of the Highgate Penitentiary as part of an appeal for charitable donation.

On the summit of Highgate Hill-one of the most pleasant and salubrious of London suburbs- is a substantial looking and commodious house, which might almost be dignified by the name of a "mansion," standing in its own grounds, some fifteen acres in extent, and known as ”Park House.” It was originally a gentleman's residence, but the turning point in its history may be said to date from the time when the Asylum for Idiots, founded by the late Rev. Andrew Reed,
D.D., and which has since acquired a Europeanreputation as "Earls wood," was in occupancy
there. For the last eighteen years, however, it has served the purposes of a penitentiary- that of St. Mary Magdalene for the Reception and Reformation of Fallen Women. It is a House of Mercy, whose gates are freely open, as far as means permit, to all who have committed that one false step which so often leads to a life of shame and sin, who are penitent, and who give a practical proof of their desire to forsake the ways of evil by voluntarily submitting themselves to the firm but kindly discipline imposed on all who enter its walls, and which, as experience shows, offers the surest means for their restoration to Society. Anyone who visits this institution, as we have done, will see that a great and Christian work is there quietly and unostentatiously carried on under the direction of the warden- the Rev. John Oliver, M.A.-for a
class who assuredly stand in need of sympathy and help-the "unfortunates" who were once virtuous and respectable girls and women, but who, yielding to the temptation, or caught in the snares so carefully spread for them, have prejudiced their claim to the world’s respect, and, in the depth of their misery, know not where to turn unless the band of Mercy points the way.

Before we enter further into our subject it may be well if we just glance at some of the leading principles of the constitution of the London Diocesan Penitentiary, as adopted by the council, and duly embodied in a deed. The bishop of the diocese is the visitor, and for each penitentiary that is established there are required the services of devoted women as "sisters," under the government of a lady principal selected out of their own number. In the Warden, who must be a member of the Church of England, licensed by the Bishop and subject to his approval, is vested the management of the whole teaching and discipline of the house. The Warden of St.
Mary Magdalene is, as we have already intimated, the Rev. John Oliver, M.A., who has filled that honourable and responsible office for the past seventeen years, and who, besides discharging the duties of chaplain, is one of the honorary clerical secretaries in conjunction
with the Rev. Henry R. Wadmore, M.A., and has a seat on the Council. The sisters - some
of whom are ladies by birth, while others; although not of the same rank of life, are well educated-consist of two classes, namely, "approved sisters" and "probationers." They not only receive no stipend but they contribute to the institution according to their means - the personal service of the poor sister being accepted in lien of payment for board, &C. In addition to these a few ladies are admitted as "associate sisters," whose duty it is to promote by every means in
their power the interests of the institution. In the several spheres of life and society to which
they belong.

Now, as to the rules which govern the admission of the "Penitents" and their mode of
life while in the Home. The Warden thoroughly examines into the case of every applicant., and
refuses none (when there is room in the institution), provided he be convinced that the woman is in earnest and has a sincere desire to be reformed. She is taken in for two months on probation, and if at the end of that time she wishes to remain, and her conduct has been satisfactory, she becomes an enrolled inmate, and is retained for two years. There are four classes in which the women, as a general rule, remain half a year-the initiatory, the laundry, the domestic, and the kitchen. In the initiatory class needlework is taught, and habits of self-restrain t- ever the great difficulty in cases of this kind - are inculcated. The laundry, in which the work is hard, and calculated to try the temper, effectually tests this preparatory training
which leads up to that fitness for domestic service completed by the remaining classes, and at which the institution aims - the industrial work being supplemented by instruction in reading, writing, arithmetic, and religion by the sisterhood. The inmates are also taught plain needlework and knitting, and some beautiful examples of both may be seen at the Home. No small test of the efficiency of the work is found in the fact, as stated by the Charity Commissioners in one of their Parliamentary returns, that "the demand at this penitentiary for servants is seven or eight times as great as the supply.” This may be in part accounted for by the great care exercised in the selection of the situations, so that the good done in the past may not be undone when they again mix with the world. The fullest inquiry is made as to the nature of the "place," and in no case must the wages be less than £8 a year. The woman, on entering
service, is furnished with a box of excellent clothing, worth from £7 to £ 8, upon the understanding that the mistress is to return the articles to the institution if the woman quits her service at the end of the year. Arrangements are, moreover, made with the employer that the wages shall be paid partly in clothing, so as to keep up the stock, and not wholly in money. Nor does the protection which the penitentiary of St. Mary Magdalene throws over its former inmates stop here. If a woman leaves a service in which she has conducted herself well refers to the warden she is sent to a servants' or private home until provided with another situation and, again, if any serious indisposition has prevented her from continuing in service, arrangements are made for her residence in the neighbourhood of Highgate until restored to health. It is not too much to say that the kindest supervision is exercised on these poor women long after they have left their old asylum, and it is to their credit that they are as a class most grateful for the benefits they received while there, not unfrequently sending their little contributions to the institution which afforded them a shelter in their hour of trouble. That they are a cheerful,
healthy, and happy family while at Park House anyone who sees them engaged at their various labours will admit. Indeed, the discipline, so essential in an establishment of this kind, would seem to be tempered down so as to meet the cravings of even the most crushed hearts. The service rendered to these poor penitents by the sisters is one of the purest love. These ladies -  and some of them are high-born - not only personally superintend the labours of these castaways, but are participators in their meals. And this brings us to the arrangements of the Home, which are of a most perfect character throughout. There are sitting-rooms for the warden and the lady principal, a chapel, a dining-hall, class-rooms, a common room for the sisters, and the dormitories so arranged that each penitent has a separate compartment to herself, and each dormitory is under the surveillance of a sister, whose sleeping chamber commands it. The basement is devoted to the kitchens, with all the necessary culinary apparatus  for so large a family, the store-rooms, &c., and out of doors, in what were originally stables, is an excellent laundry, into which all the modern improvements have been introduced. We should add that Park House, which was only rented at first is now the property of the institution, the Council having, on the expiration of the lease, been enabled to purchase the building and its extensive grounds at a total cost of about £ 17,000.

During the past year the number of inmates has been increased from forty to fifty, and it is
only the want of funds which prevents the Council from admitting ten more, and so making use of all the available accommodation in the house. In proportion to the increase of the numbers the necessity for a larger chapel is more and more felt. Tee chapel, already begun, and which is to replace the original little edifice, which was far too small for its congregation, is all that could be wished in point of arrangement and architecture, but a considerable sum of money is required to make it suitable for the wants of the institution. There is we should add a Refuge, called the "Westminster Refuge,'" which is under the direct care of the warden, who adds to his
customary labours by holding a service there on Sundays and visiting the house as occasion
requires, and which, useful in various ways even now, would, if pecunary arrangements could be made for its proper management and development, become a truly valuable appendage to the Penitentiary. The plain truth is, that more money is needed in all parts of the work. Fewer donations were recorded last year than usual, and the deaths of several old friends and
supporters diminidhed the subscription list. A kind anonymous friend, "G. S. T.," however, gave his third contribution of £1,000 to the institution, and the offertory collections devoted to it were greater in 1872 than in 1871. This is most gratifying, as showing that the clergy of the diocese are becoming more and more interested in the work, and more disposed to commend it to the bounty of their parishioners, who often liberally respond to such appeals, both at the time and by subsequent gifts. While on this point we may show that the penitents considering what their former lives have been, set a considerable value on Christian ordinances. Three were
baptised last year, twelve, after diligent preparation, were confirmed by the Bishop, and the average number of communicants was twenty. Then, as to the moral conduct of these women, after they have left the Penitentiary, we have it on the authority of the Charity Commissioners, after the strictest in investigation of all the cases discharged in four years, that 50 of the 64 per cent. discharged in credit were behaving well.

Looking at this work in all its aspects we know of none which we can more honestly commend to the sympathies and support of our Christian readers. And the more so that, carried on without outward display in a quiet suburb, it can be known but to the very few out of the great phalanx of givers to the works of mercy. We earnestly trust that the remarks which we have made may be the means of attracting some additional attention to this most Christian effort, and in this hope we would add that subscriptions and donations will be thankfully received by the Treasurer, Richard Twining, Esq., 215, Strand, W.C., or by the Rev. John Oliver, M.A., Warden of St. Mary Magdalene Penitentiary, Highgate.

Monday 6 June 2022

A Morning in Highgate Cemetery West - May 2022


Entrance to Highgate Cemetery West (with the Colonnade visible beyond the gate)

I’m fulfilling the start of a lockdown promise to myself here. I will over the coming months pay a visit to each of the so called ‘Magnificent Seven’ London cemeteries. These are:

  • Highgate
  • Kensal Green
  • West Norwood
  • Brompton
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Abney Park
  • Nunhead
The century leading up to the creation of the collection of cemeteries later termed the ‘Magnificent Seven’ saw a huge migration of people from the country to the UK’s urban centres as the Industrial Revolution brought with it work. This boom in city populations coupled with the Christian tradition of burial in consecrated ground in the immediate environment of Parish churches created untold problems. The City of London was greatly affected as the small graveyards of the churches in the area were hugely overcrowded. Often it was the gravedigger’s gruesome task to break up the coffins and the remains of their occupants from earlier interments to make room for new burials. Paupers graves would be dug that were upto 20 feet deep and these would remain open until such time that sufficient coffins had been placed in the plot to fill it. This could take a couple of weeks, during which time the natural processes of putrefaction were underway. The fact that demand for space hugely exceeded the space that was available meant that graves were regularly opened and reopened with the inevitable disturbance of the bodies within. Many burials were made that were just inches below the surface. This situation resulted in contamination of the ground water, a saturation of the soil with the effluvia of putrefaction and a general miasma of noxious odours in the environs of city graveyards. In turn this resulted in serious health risks to those people living ‘cheek by jowl’ to the resting places of the dead.

In 1839, English medic, George Walker published a treatise entitled ‘Gatherings from Graveyards, Particularly those of London’ in an attempt to prove the link between public health and the continued practice of interment of the dead in close proximity to the living. The work went to great lengths to describe the practices of the ancient civilisations in this respect, almost all of which forbade burials within religious buildings and in many cases even within city walls. Indeed, this was also true within the Christian faith, however, with time the laws laid down on the subject of burials were increasingly overlooked. Initially, pious men could with ecclesiastical approval be buried in the outer parts of their churches. Later this privilege was extended to those of great wealth and status that contributed to the foundation of their churches. Eventually, internal burials encroached on the interiors of churches such that celebrant’s were standing on the flagstones underneath which lay the remains of their fellow Christian congregation.

Title page of George Walker's work highlighting the dangers of interment of the dead in close proximity to the living (1839).

The crisis was recognized and wealthy entrepreneurial businessmen were quick to offer solutions to London’s dilemma.  One such set up was the London Cemetery Company established as a result of an 1836 Act of Parliament. The Company was charged with the construction of a purpose built cemetery outside of the city (it was many years before the villages selected as locations for these necropolises were subsumed by the sprawl of Greater London). The first for the London Cemetery Company was Highgate to the north of the city, soon to be followed by a second, Nunhead, to the south. Subsequent Acts of Parliament resulted in what are now regarded as the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries that ring the City of London.

Locations of the 'Magnificent Seven' garden cemeteries that surround the City of London.

In 1839, within Highgate, 15 acres of the 17 acre site were consecrated for the burial of members of the Church of England whilst 2 acres were set aside for Dissenter burials (those of Christian faith outside of the C of E).

The Important thing to remember about Victorian society is that they were obsessed with death! How one’s death was managed was a matter of utmost importance to Victorian’s both rich and poor. A plot, marker and funeral were something to be saved for throughout life. Naturally, in a society that placed a great emphasis on social standing, those that could afford to do so went big when it came to the funerary  arrangement and remembrance of loved ones. The Cemetery Companies offered many options to those planning for the afterlife. The ‘menu’ offered to the bereaved was extensive, costing grand family mausoleums to single plot graves. Death may be the great leveler but it was certainly possible to make a distinction in the manner of your family memorial.

Aside from the variety in terms of grandeur of graves and tombs to be found in a cemetery of the Victorian age there is also their obsession with the symbolism of loss that is of note. There are angels aplenty, Guardian Angels of the souls of the departed gesturing heavenward, grieving angels with eyes cast down and cherubs representing innocence and loss. Classical columns abound, broken not as a result of the passage of nearly two centuries but a representation of a life cut short, inverted torches carry meaning of a life extinguished but their flames tell of a continuation of the soul. Any self respecting Victorian cemetery will contain dozens of urns half draped with cloth to ensure that the soul within can ascend to heaven. Then, there is the Victorian preoccupation with all things Egyptian, the contemporary uncovering of the tombs and monuments of that civilization was readily reflected in the funerary sculpture of the day such that obelisks and pyramids appear in profusion!

The two paragraphs above exemplify just what I find so appealing about such places, they are so unashamedly over the top!

Having spent upwards of forty five years traipsing around graveyards it saddens me to think that in another 150 years when the leaded letters of our Victorian monuments have all dislodged and the carved inscriptions have all weathered to an illegible state, we will only be left with our modern day monuments and grave stones that in comparison are so bland and lifeless…. no pun intended. Whilst no doubt heartfelt, ‘In Memory of Joe Bloggs, beloved Husband, Father and Grandson’ cannot compete with the crowing of the achievements in life and the social standing boasts that one finds inscribed on many a Victorian headstone! And I, of course, appreciate the necessity for a scaled down approach to remembrance of the dead.

As I write this piece in June 2022 I am reminded that between November 2021 and January 2022 notices were posted on the gates of the Old Cemetery here in Bishops Stortford. These notices invited members of the public to provide comments in a consultation on proposals to re-use ‘common graves’ (those owned by the cemetery and unmarked) under the authority of a private Act of Parliament. This proposal has been necessitated, once again, by the fact that in 10 years from now both of the town’s ‘active’ cemeteries will be full. Issues of capacity in the cemeteries of our towns and cities coupled with the prevalence of cremation over burial (and I am all for the former when my time comes!) means that the spaces given over to remembrance will inevitably be lacking the flamboyance and drama of former times. I find that to be an awful prospect.

However, I digress, let us step back into the leafy tranquility of Highgate.

One of the first graves to which our attention was drawn by our guide was a recent one, that of a former member of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) , Alexander Litvinenko, a Russian defector and fierce critic of Vladimir Putin who, after gaining asylum in the UK, advised the British intellegence services on Russian affairs. He was taken ill in a hotel in Mayfair and died on 23rd November 2006. The cause of death was attributed to poisoning by polonium-210. A subsequent murder investigation identified two Russian suspects but extradition attempts failed. A public enquiry concluded in January 2016 that Litvinenko was murdered by the same two suspects acting on behalf of the FSB with the approval of Putin. 

Like many of his Victorian neighbours, his remains lie in lead inside the coffin, a protection from a danger lying within i.e. the radioactive agent that killed him, rather than a danger lying without that was so feared by the Victorians i.e. the 'Resurrection Men'. 

Continuing to walk up the Main Drive the visitor is confronted by perhaps the showiest contrivance of Victorian funerary construction, 'The Egyptian Avenue'. Entered through a large arch that is flanked by four lotus columns and two obelisks inspired by Cleopatra's Needle (an 1819 gift to Britain from Egypt that is sited on London's Embankment), a greeny gloom quickly envelops the visitor, who once inside the avenue is standing amid eight private vaults. These vaults are locked, the key being given over to the family so that on occasion they could visit their dead relatives (rather them than  me!). Like so much else in Highgate, even the locks on the doors to each vault are symbolically inverted. 

A depiction of the entrance to the 'Egyptian Avenue' in the Victorian era.

The entrance to the 'Egyptian Avenue' Highgate, May 2022.

A view down the 'Egyptian Avenue', May 2022.

One of the family vaults within the 'Egyptian Avenue' May 2022.

Whilst each of the vaults has the capacity to accommodate twelve coffins, none in fact are full. As a consequence of the avenue's gloomy aspect this afterdeath option fell out of favour. Even in the cemetery's own guidebook of 1865 the avenue was described as a 'cold stony death palace'.... hardly the most persuasive advertisement to those seeking the eternal resting places of their nearest and dearest! For those who could afford it a vault in the light and airy 'Circle of Lebanon' was a much preferred option.

The Circle is just beyond the Egyptian Avenue. The Inner Circle is constructed around a mound upon which grew an ancient (even in Victorian times) cedar tree, that was the centre point of the cemetery according to architect Stephen Geary's plans. The 400 year old tree, having died, was removed in 2019 and has since been replaced.

Such was the desirability of the Circle as the final resting place of the family that to the twenty vaults of the Inner Circle, an Outer Circle was constructed. 

The Circle of Lebanon showing the inner and outer circle of vaults.

The Circle of Lebanon is a Grade 1 listed architectural feature.

Our tour moved on to the Terrace Catacombs located above the Circle of Lebanon, at the highest point of the cemetery, and under St Michael's Church (although the catacombs are above ground level). Here our guide delivered a gentle warning, 'Those of you who are uncomfortable with the  idea of seeing exposed coffins should wait outside.' 'Let me in!' my inner voice bellowed!

The interior of the Terrace Catacombs (occupied loculi can be seen on the right), May 2022.

Occupied loculi (one with inscribed slab still in place), May 2022.

Example of an exposed lead casket, May 2022.

The catacombs represented yet another 'menu option' for the client. On entry to the catacombs and once the eyes have adjusted to the low levels of light, the visitor finds themselves in a long corridor lined on either side with wall to ceiling recesses arranged in 55 recesses. There are 825 recesses, so called 'loculi', each one designed to accommodate one coffin. With the coffin in-situ the loculi was either closed up with an inscribed slab or in some cases sealed with an 'inspection window' of glass. It is said that those opting for the inspection window finish did so for one of two reasons i) to be assured that they had got what they paid for or ii) to show others what they had paid for!

Unlike internments in the earth, those placed in the catacombs were first placed in a sealed lead casket which was in turn placed in an exterior coffin. The purpose of such a treatment was two-fold. The use of a lead casket prevented the unpleasantness of leakage from the coffin but also would thwart the best efforts of any would be 'body snatchers' to access the corpse. The 'body snatcher' or 'resurrectionist' (those that would steal the bodies of the recently deceased in order to meet Medical Schools high demands for cadavers for dissection) was such a 'bogeyman' within Victorian Society that a guard was placed on the entrance to the catacombs as an extra precaution against such a fate.

Of individual graves, the names of the majority of the occupants of Highgate West, do not mean a great deal to today's visitor. Then, as indeed is the case now, the names of the wealthy do not resonate with the public, the banking magnates, oil barons and corporate CEOs are able to live out their lives away from the eyes and ears of the majority. However, there are some people here who enjoyed great fame in their day such as Thomas Sayers, a Brighton born bare-knuckle prize fighter, one of the few commoners interred here, whose £3,000 funeral was paid for by public subscription and for who thousands turned out to see his final procession up to Highgate. 

The memorial to Thomas Sayers, May 2022.

Charles Cruft, the cat loving pet food producer who gave his name to the famed annual dog show also lies within the cemetery walls.

 However, there was only one specific plot that I really wanted to see, that of Michael Faraday. Faraday, arguably Britain's greatest scientist lies in the Dissenters section of the cemetery (the assigned 2 acres referenced earlier) by virtue of his membership of the Christian Glasite sect. In life he had rejected the offer to be buried in Westminster Abbey.

The headstone of Michael Faraday FRS, May 2022.

Whether, like me, you harbour a particular interest in monuments and mausoleums, or you just appreciate time spent in beautiful surroundings, I would highly recommend that you struggle up Highgate Hill (and it id a struggle!) to visit the Cemetery. You won't be disappointed.