Keeping Highgate Cemetery alive
Highgate Cemetery will soon run out of space.
It is over 180 years since the first burial at Highgate Cemetery.
But within the next few years the space available will significantly diminish. We would like Highgate to continue as a working cemetery and not become simply a tourist attraction.
Providing a place of burial is the best way to preserve its special character and prevent its decline. With their loved ones continuing to be buried here, future generations would value Highgate Cemetery as a spiritual landscape, different in character from other open spaces such as parks.
By taking back long-abandoned graves the future of the Cemetery can be assured. Where graves are no longer wanted by their historic owners, they could be made available for the present generation.
Naturally there would be many safeguards to preserve the interests of grave owners and their families, and to protect the heritage. But there is much scope for Highgate Cemetery to accommodate more burials with minimal impact on the wonderful landscape.
We call the process ‘grave renewal’. This booklet explains our indicative proposals for how it might work, and is subject to further change and refinement. Other London cemeteries already have similar powers, so the precedent is well-established. To implement it here, Highgate Cemetery needs a supplementary Act of Parliament which we intend to seek in November.
We would love to hear what you think.