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With 170,000 people buried in 53,000 graves at Highgate Cemetery, finding the person you are looking for may not be easy.
What are my alternatives?
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. Note that you will probably still need to pay for a location search to find the grave.
For all burials from 1975 onwards, please contact our Registrar directly on 020 8347 2471 to confirm the procedure and appropriate fee.
Highgate Cemetery is in two parts, the East side and the West side. Visitors may wander the paths, but for safety reasons most of the West Cemetery away from the main paths is not accessible. This means that if the person you are looking for is not buried in an accessible location, 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.
Not all graves have memorials, and memorials were not permitted on ‘common’ or ‘public’ graves, so sometimes there is nothing much to look at. 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.
© 2023 Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust. Registered Charity No. 1058392. Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No. 3157806. Registered office Swain’s Lane, London N6 6PJ