Search

Highgate Cemetery holds party for great and good of Highgate to celebrate 175th birthday

17:00 21 May 2014

Senior members of the Friends of Highgate Cemetary cut the cakes. (LtoR) Ian Kelly, vice president, Dr Ian Dungavell, chief executive, and chairman John Shepperdm. Picture: Mark Hakansson

Senior members of the Friends of Highgate Cemetary cut the cakes. (LtoR) Ian Kelly, vice president, Dr Ian Dungavell, chief executive, and chairman John Shepperdm. Picture: Mark Hakansson

Archant

It is the final resting place of Karl Marx, George Eliot and Douglas Adams and their graves attract tens of thousands of tourists every year.

But this week, visitors flocked to Highgate Cemetery to celebrate its 175-year history at a grand birthday party in the cemetery grounds.

“The party was a chance to look back at all our wonderful achievements,” said Dr Ian Dungavell, chief executive of the Friends of Highgate Cemetery.

“It is the best Victorian cemetery in London because of its being beautifully located, beautifully laid out and being a burial place for lots of prominent people.

“But we are also looking to the future and it was a good opportunity to discuss with people what we are going to look like when we turn 200.”

The great and good of Highgate were among the guests at the celebrations on Tuesday night, including Highgate councillors and representatives from the Highgate Society, Lauderdale House, the Highgate Scientific and Literary Institution and the area’s schools.

The cemetery’s stonemason Neil Luxton was on hand to teach guests how to carve their own epitaph, while the Highgate Choral Society and the North London Brass Band played for the crowd of more than 150 people.

Old met new as undertakers T. Cribb & Sons showed off a Victorian hearse, pulled by two black horses, next to the UK’s first electric “eco-hearse” developed by Camden-based funeral directors Leverton & Sons.

Small groups were also given tours around both Highgate West and East Cemeteries in the fading light.

The evening was brought to a climax as three cakes covered in an edible version of the ivy growing on many of the cemetery’s graves were cut by Dr Dungavell, Friends of Highgate Cemetery chairman John Shepperd and vice-president Ian Kelly.

“It was lovely to get everyone involved in the cemetery together as well as everyone who has been involved with the Friends over quite a long time,” said Dr Dungavell.

“There is a wonderful community here, but it was also good to reach out to the wider community.

“There were a lot of ideas from people. One of the big areas for development is education which will bring us closer to the local schools, and possibly longer opening hours.”

The party was held exactly 175 years after the cemetery was consecrated by the Anglican Bishop of London on May 20, 1839.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

14:21
Fitzjohn's headteacher Rob Earrey said he had told the CPS of his holiday. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has apologised to a headteacher after shambolic blunders led to the collapse of a case concerning the theft of £4,600 worth of iPads at a Hampstead primary school.

17:38
Gok Wan has moved to Bloomsbury

It’s rare someone looks to trade one part of London for another because it’s “too quiet” – but Hampstead may have produced its first.

14:07
Boz Burbridge was jailed for seven years for conspiracy to commit robbery

Two men from Camden have been jailed for a total of 19 years for their part in a smash-and-grab robbery at a high-end City jewellers.

08:00
Henrique Coceicao walked free from court yesterday. Picture: Polly Hancock

A man charged with stealing £4,600 worth of iPads from a primary school has walked free from court smiling after events which saw a headteacher fail to turn up to give key evidence – because he was holidaying in Sri Lanka.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder