Highgate Cemetery (with pictures)

Went to Highgate Cemetery today, as I thought it’s be an interesting place to check out and also a good place to take some photos. Unfortunately it ended up being more of a celebrity-grave-spotting expedition though!

Highgate cemetery is famous for having Karl Marx buried there, plus heaps of other notable people.

Anyway, I was less interested in finding Marx, and more concerned with finding Max Wall.

One of the great things about London is – although it’s a small city – you can travel to new areas and it can feel like a completely different world. For example, I passed this council housing estate and to me it looks something from Clockwork Orange. It’s like a small glimpse into the future or something. We have lots of council estates in South London, but none like this:

Something that struck me when I got to the cemetery was how much it looks like the place where I’m living now:

Compare this to where I live: Pilgrim’s Cloisters, Camberwell.

In addition to Max Wall, I also wanted to find the graves of Douglas Adams, Patrick Caulfield, George Eliot and William Foyle. Now several years ago I went to Père Lachaise in Paris because I wanted to see Jim Morrison’s grave (I was a massive Doors fan when I was a teenager). Still am. I remember dragging my then-girlfriend around all day trying to find his bloody tomb. Took 6 hours in the end, and by that time Jim Morrison could rot in hell for all cared.

Needless to say, a similar thing nearly happened today hunting for Max Wall. Spotted Karl Marx straight away – it’s bloody massive and was surrounded by Chinese tourists, but Max (and the others on my list) were nowhere to be found.

I walked around for about an hour without any luck. I stopped and thought to myself “this is completely pointless – loads of famous people are supposed to be in this place – and I can’t a single one“. I was about to leave, when who should I see behind me – and this is no word of a lie… Jeremy Beadle! I then realised this had all been a windup from beyond the grave by the tiny-handed prankster.

Up until that point I didn’t even know he was buried there. After Jeremy Beadle my luck suddenly changed and I managed to tick the others off my list pretty quickly.

And here’s the man, Max Wall:

The best grave of the day award goes to artist, Patrick Caulfield. It says “DEAD”.

I’ve stuck a load more pictures up on Flickr.

And I’ve just found out that Henry Moore and Malcolm McLaren are buried there too. Bugger.