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.


Come on one of our occasional tours of the East Cemetery


Friday 1 November: All Saints Candlelighting Evening

Summer late openings

Special atmosphere on summer evenings

A great success...

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

Group visits

How to arrange a group visit to the East Cemetery

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


You can wander the East Cemetery by yourself, but why not discover more by coming on a tour with one of our expert volunteer guides? 

Mostly tours are on Saturday at 2pm. They don't run every Saturday, so please click on the 'Book Now' button to see forthcoming dates. 

The tour of the East Cemetery lasts around 60 minutes and is in English. The tour takes place even if it’s raining and the paths are steep and sometimes muddy so please do wear appropriate footwear.

Photography is allowed for personal use only. No food or drink. Strong winds or icy conditions may require us to cancel the tour for safety reasons. If we are forced to cancel you will receive a full refund.

East Cemetery Tour Ticket prices

Adults £8; Children £4; Members £4. Prices include entrance to the East Cemetery only on the day of your tour.  Tickets are not refundable or exchangeable.

Please note: The Catacombs, Egyptian Avenue and the Circle of Lebanon are in the West Cemetery and are not visited on this tour.


See the events page for a full events listing.

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 -…

Summer late openings

East Cemetery open late until 9pm on Wednesdays in June and July 2019

If you’d like to experience the special atmosphere of Highgate Cemetery East in the soft evening light, then our summer season of late openings is the time to do it.

You can book ahead for a late evening West Cemetery tour from May 1st. Click here to book.  

Last admission will be at 8.30pm on Wednesdays in June and July.

Entrance £4. Just turn up before 8.30pm. No need to book.

There will be a 'Neighbour day' in mid June, when entry to the East Cemetery is free for residents of N6, N19 and NW5 from 5pm until 8.30pm. Just bring a proof of address! 


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 the cemetery was a  private 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. 


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.



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).