‘Highgate Cemetery at a crossroads’ exhibition/consultation : see our ‘news’ page
With 170,000 people buried in 53,000 graves at Highgate Cemetery, finding the person you are looking for may not be easy.
We offer two services:
Only suitable if you already know the grave number and square
Highgate Cemetery is in two parts, the East Cemetery and the West Cemetery. Visitors may wander the East Cemetery unescorted, but for safety reasons unaccompanied visitors are not permitted in the West. This means that if the person you are looking for is buried in the West Cemetery (squares 1-63) a location search is essential. Although the cemetery is divided into squares, there is no indication of these on the ground. It is unlikely that you will find a grave easily by yourself. Grave numbers themselves give no clue to where people are in the cemetery as they were allocated in order of purchase, not according to the location.
The search fee is not refundable. We recommend that you try a free search on www.deceasedonline.com first. Do try a few variations of the name in case there are errors in the transcription. Registered users of Deceased Online can narrow their searches to particular areas of the country or to individual cemeteries. Fees are payable to view or download documents. Note that the 'Burial Register' published on the deceasedonline site has the date the burial was booked in by the cemetery, not the date of the burial itself, which was usually a few days later.
Copies of our registers up to 1975 are held at Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre, Holborn Library, 32-38 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8PA where they may be consulted for free. For details of their holdings, see their catalogue, which provides guidance on how to use the records. Note that if the grave is in the West Cemetery, you will still need to pay for a location search.
For all burials from 1975 onwards, please contact Justin Bickersteth, the Registrar, directly on 020 8347 2471 to confirm the procedure and appropriate fee.
Not all graves have memorials, and memorials were not permitted on ‘common’ or ‘public’ graves. Memorials are the responsibility of the registered owner and not of the cemetery.
Every private grave has at least one named registered owner. Location searches are free for the registered owner of the grave being searched for. If you believe you may be entitled to own a grave, please ask for a copy of our guidance on Owning and transferring burial rights. A fee is payable for the transfer of ownership.
Registered owners are provided with passes which give free access to their grave so they do not have to pay admission fees to visit the cemetery.
We prefer payment by bank transfer. Please send payment to Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust, Unity Trust Bank plc, Sort Code 60-83-01 Account Number 20304100. For foreign payments, our IBAN number is GB93 NWBK 6002 3571 4180 24. Swift Code: NWBKGB2L.
Alternatively please pay by cheque to ‘Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust’ or by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further enquiries telephone 020 8347 2474. Download the Grave search form.