East side only

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.

East side only entrance

Buy a timed-entry ticket for Highgate Cemetery East. (The side with Marx)


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East side tours

Come on one of our occasional tours of Highgate Cemetery East

A great success...

A little bit about the East side...

Group visits

How to arrange a group visit to the East side only

Karl Marx

The most famous East side 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 lifetime

East side only entrance

This is a working cemetery. Please keep things tranquil and respectful by observing the following rules. Please walk quietly and

* leave your dog at home
* don’t run or jog or do any strenuous exercise
* park your cycle or scooter outside
* don’t leave the paths or touch any monument.

You can arrive 15 minutes before or up to 30 minutes after your booked time to avoid the queues. We lock the gates at 4pm each day until 28 February, and at 5pm from 1 March. Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.

 If you are coming to visit the whole cemetery, you don't need to buy a separate East side ticket as it is included in the price. 

East side tours

Our wonderful volunteer guides bring the East side alive with fascinating stories of its history and occupants. The tour lasts around 75 minutes and is in English. Tours take place even if it’s raining. Paths are steep and sometimes muddy so please do wear appropriate footwear. 

Photography is allowed with a hand-held camera for personal use only. No tripods. No filming. 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.

The ticket price includes entrance to the East side 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 side and are not visited on this tour.

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 side only

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 side only

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

Different arrangements apply for group visits which include the West side.



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).