East Cemetery

Home to illustrious figures of the nineteenth century as well as eminent people of our own time

A plot at Highgate Cemetery has always been much sought after. To cater for demand, the cemetery company opened the East side extension in 1860. It is here that you will find buried many famous names, along with interesting and varied memorials.

A great success...

The East Cemetery is the best-known part of Highgate Cemetery

Events

Saturday 1 November: East Cemetery candle-lighting late opening for All Saints’ Evening
Thursday 19 February: Buried Treasure? Valuing the Dead in Nineteenth-Century England : A talk by Dr David McAllister

Group visits

How to arrange a group visit to the East Cemetery


Tours

There are guided tours of the East Cemetery every Saturday at 2pm

Karl Marx

Our most famous resident

Patrick Caulfield

A striking example of a modern memorial, designed for and by one of the greatest British painters of the late twentieth century


George Eliot

One of the greatest Victorian writers, and recognised as such in her own lifeteime

A great success...

Highgate Cemetery was such a success that the East side was opened in 1860. It was also run by the London Cemetery Company. 

When Karl Marx was buried here – in a grave purchased by Engels – the cemetery was a  profit-making commercial operation. However, as it filled up it became uneconomic as a private concern, and was rescued by the Friends of Highgate Cemetery.

Burials have continued here since the Friends took over in 1981 and the cemetery continues to serve the needs of North London. 

 

Events

See the events page for a full events listing.

East Cemetery candle-lighting late opening for All Saints’ Evening
Saturday 1 November 2014
Tickets £4. Free for grave owners, Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, and under-18s accompanied by adults. Book now

East Cemetery open until 7pm. last entry 6.30pm   All Saints’ Day is a day for the general commemoration of those who have gone before us. Many grave-owners at Highgate Cemetery alrea…

Buried Treasure? Valuing the Dead in Nineteenth-Century England : A talk by Dr David McAllister
Thursday 19 February 2015
TICKETS £7 INCLUDING A GLASS OF WINEBook now

Starts 7.30pm. Doors open 7pm. Dr David McAllister will discuss attitudes to burial in the years leading up to the birth of the Garden Cemetery movement in the early nineteenth century and the es…

Group visits

School groups - East Cemetery

We charge £1 per pupil and the maximum group size is 25. All pupils under 18 years must be accompanied by an adult, with a minimum ratio of 1 adult to ten pupils.

Tours should be booked in advance. Please telephone 020 8347 2475 to book and for further information.

Other groups - East Cemetery

Please telephone 020 8347 2475 to discuss your requirements or make a booking.

Different arrangements apply for group visits to the West Cemetery.


 

 

Tours

We offer a guided tour of Highgate Cemetery East on Saturdays at 2pm. We give every visitor a free map of the East Cemetery, but this is a great way to get the stories about the people who are buried here. 

For details and prices see the bottom of this page. 

Karl Marx

Visitors flock from all around the world to see the grave of Karl Marx, whose political philosophy has had such an impact on the modern world. 

He was originally buried in his wife's grave on a small side path, but in 1956 a new monument featuring a gigantic bust by the socialist sculptor Laurence Bradshaw was installed in a more prominent location. Funds were raised by the Marx Memorial Fund, set up by the Communist Party in 1955.

Since then, many people who have been inspired by his thinking have been buried nearby – among them Yusuf Dadoo, the South African communist and anti-apartheid activist, and Claudia Jones, political activist and founder of the Notting Hill Carnival. 

Ironically his ideological antithesis, the liberal political theorist Herbert Spencer (1820-1903), is buried almost directly opposite. 

Patrick Caulfield

Although often referred to as a 'Pop' artist, Patrick Caulfield disliked being associated with that movement. Nevertheless, he shared with those artists a certain objective and dispassionate style in his art. 

A resident of Belsize Park, north London, it was only natural that Caulfield (1936-2005) should choose to be buried in Highgate Cemetery.

But his memorial is a complete surprise. He designed it himself, and there is nothing  like it anywhere. The letters D E A D are pierced through a sleek slab of stone, a stark statement of fact presented with the same objectivity as his paintings. 

His memorial speaks tellingly about an impassive man who rarely showed his inner passions. 

George Eliot

It comes as a surprise to many high school students reading ‘Middlemarch’ that its author, George Eliot (1819-80), was in fact a woman writing under a pseudonym.

From 1880 known as Mary Ann Cross, the name that appears on her memorial, she first used the name ‘George Eliot’ in 1857. 

‘George’ was the name of her partner, the critic George Henry Lewes (1817-78) whom she was buried alongside in Highgate Cemetery, and she chose ‘Eliot’ because it was ‘a good mouth-filling, easily pronounced word’.

Her denial of Christian faith and her irregular life meant that she was not buried in Westminster Abbey, but her greatness was finally recognised with the erection of a plaque there on the centenary of her death in 1980.

Close by Eliot and Lewes at Highgate are a number of their friends and associates, such as the publisher John Chapman (1821-94), diarist Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867), and secularist George Holyoake (1817-1906).