Events

We run all sorts of events throughout the year. If you'd like to hear about them first, why not join the Friends of Highgate Cemetery, or sign up for our e-newsletter? Subscribe

STRIKING A LIGHT: the match girls’ strike and Eleanor Marx

Thursday 26 September 2019 £10Book now

A talk by Louise Raw

Bryant and May were the producers of matches in the 19th century. They employed girls who were paid meagre wages and were forced to work for 12 hours a day under the most horrendous conditions. To make matters worse, it was a strong likelihood that they would eventually become victims of the disfiguring effects of phosphorous which caused a form of bone cancer. This became known as ‘phossy jaw’. The Match Girls, rebelled and came out on strike in 1888. This groundbreaking strike played an important role in the burgeoning modern labour movement of the 19th century. 
Dr Louise Raw is a writer, broadcaster, public speaker and historian. Her book, Striking a Light, tells the story of the match girls. Louise will talk about the strike and how Eleanor Marx was involved with helping Annie Besant, who became the leader of the Matchgirls’ Union.

Talk starts at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00pm. Ticket includes a glass of wine.

London Month of the Dead

Thursday 10 October 2019 £12Book now

THE ETERNAL JOURNEY
The Egyptian Book of the Dead with Dr Anna Garnett

Explaining what happens to us when we die is one of the principal functions of religions. Some of them even go as far as issuing detailed guidance as to what we can expect on our voyage to the next world.

“The Book of Emerging Forth into the Light” was a series of magic spells complied by Egyptian priests over 1000s of years to help the dead soul traverse the underworld and attain the afterlife. A papyrus copy would be placed in the tombs of Pharaohs. Over the years the privilege began to be accorded to lower mortals too. Prussian Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius produced the first modern translation of these incantations in 1842 and it was he who coined the name “The Book of the Dead”. In her talk, Egyptologist and curator of the Petrie Museum ANNA GARNETT will explore the spells, prayers and incantations contained within this collection of funerary texts paying special attention to the orignal manuscript held in the Petrie Museum.

From 7pm

London Month of the Dead

Thursday 24 October 2019 £12Book now

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE
Literary Suicides with Gary Lachman

Writing has always been a precarious profession. From Petronius in ancient Rome to the 20th Century Japanese novelist Yukio Mishima, writers, more than any other artists, have taken their own lives in an extraordinary number of ways. With bullets, poison, drugs and swords, poets, playwrights, novelists and philosophers have sent themselves off into the big sleep. Others, one step shy of that last exit, have made great literature about the urge to self-destruction.

In this talk, Gary Lachman explores the different ways in which this disparate group of men and women of letters have put finis to their often troubled lives and the motivations that sent them on their way.

from 7pm

All Saints Candlelighting Evening

Friday 1 November 2019 £4Book now

The East Cemetery at Highgate on All Saints is awash with the glow and flicker of dozens of candles, as graveowners and visitors place candles (available at the cemetery) on  loved-one’s - or stranger’s - graves.

Pandemic 1918

Thursday 21 November 2019 £10Book now

A talk by Catharine Arnold

‘In the dying months of WW1, Spanish flu overwhelmed the globe, killing up to 100 million people. In her compelling account of the pandemic, author Catharine Arnold describes the inexorable advance of the most devastating disease known to humankind since the Black Death.  
In Pandemic 1918, Catharine Arnold recounts the bitter history of Spanish flu through its victims and survivors, from writers and world leaders to those who have no memorial. For this talk, Catharine will be focusing on the impact of Spanish flu on London as witnessed by Virginia Woolf, Duff Cooper, Vera Brittain and many other Londoners.
Catharine’s previous books include Necropolis London and its Dead which was inspired by her research at Highgate Cemetery.  
Catharine Arnold read history at Cambridge and has a further degree in psychology. Catharine’s other books include Bedlam, City of Sin, and Underworld London Crime and Punishment. 

Starts at 7.30pm. Doors open 7.00pm. Ticket includes a glass of wine.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens

Tuesday 17 December 2019 This event is sold out

Performed by Gerald Dickens

In the festive glow of the beautiful Highgate Cemetery chapel, we are delighted that Gerald Dickens will perform his internationally acclaimed one man show of a Christmas Carol. Described as a ‘theatrical tour de force’, Gerald will play over 25 characters in this extra special Christmas event where he brings his great great grandfather’s popular works to vivid and exciting life. 

Starts at 7.30pm. Doors open 7.00pm. Ticket includes a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.