highgate cemetery


In love and death: Lizzie Siddal

This story happens by lamplight, under a copse of trees and at the top of a steep hill, predictably under the cover of night when only the most nefarious deeds are done. It's October and the ground is frosted, but there are men at work with spades and shovels, digging into the soil with some ardour, awaiting that telltale sound of metal striking a coffin. If you've ever dug up a grave yourself, I'm certain you'd know it: the timber of the strike changes as the wood buckles, and then splinters. It's an extra bit of give beneath the tool -- the result of the grav[...]


Victorian Valhallas: Cemetery Picnics

The Victorians had a very peculiar tradition of picnicking in cemeteries. After the death of Queen Victoria’s hubby in 1861, the entire country donned their mourning attire. For forty years. (To be fair, Victoria only asked her court for three years of goth gear. Moved by her dedication to Prince Albert, they persisted in continuing the tradition until the queen’s death, at which point the custom was put to rest, and so began the Edwardian period in Britain.) I’d like to say the tendency to accessorize all in black, cover the household mirrors with black[...]