I had an amazing day touring Highgate cemetery. The cemetery consists of an east and a west side. In the east side you can walk freely around, but the west side which is older, requires a tour for you to access it. Outside near the cemetery entrance were these interesting chimneys, each having its own individual pattern.
Straight away the entrance looks imposing. Our tour lady told us lots of interesting things about the place such as to get the body across the road (where im standing) to the east cemetery, they had an underground tunnel so that they didn’t have to cross the road. It is currently waterlogged but they are trying to restore it.
It was very overcast all day and with all the trees overshadowing the cemetery it made it hard for photography. Wasn’t allowed tripods, and even if you was, at the speed the tour was going I wouldn’t have been able to use it anyway. This was the only bad thing really, the tour was interesting and i’m glad I learned some interesting facts about the place but I would have liked to wander off afterwards and taken photos without being rushed. I could have easily spent all day in the place. The one time I did lag behind I got called to ‘are you coming?!‘ To which she explained later she wasn’t allowed anyone out of sight as some people book tours and wander off with the intentions of scattering ashes of their loved ones in the cemetery without permission, which I found quite amusing to be honest.
This is the grave of Thomas Sayers, who was a bare-knuckle prize fighter. There were no weight divisions back then and his final fight against an American, John Heenan, is regarded as the world’s first boxing championship. This match lasted 40 rounds, a match only ended when a fighter was knocked down, so between them they had been knocked down 40 times! The match ended in a draw when the crowd flooded the ring. The dog guarding his tomb was Sayers’s constant companion called Leo, or Lion.
Highgate cemetery is well worth visiting, though it is rather annoying that you are forced to have a tour to see the west side. The tour is only an hour long and I feel we only got to see a fraction of the place. Despite this I thoroughly enjoyed myself, I would love to have the opportunity to explore the west side of the cemetery and discover at my own leisure.