Edmonton and Southgate Cemetery

Enfield Southgate Cemetery is one of the less interesting of north London's burial grounds. Laid out in strict grid pattern, it lacks even a chapel, as the parish church over the road was used for funeral services. Though the ground is generally neat and tidy, there's not much to inspire here: a few red granite edifices celebrate local dignatories, but the campest cherub in the world is probably the most interesting monument.

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Hendon Cemetery and Crematorium

Hendon Cemetery begins in spectacular style, with a half-timbered lodge and gothic-lettered sign post, a relic of its founding by the Abney Park Cemetery Company: it's now maintained by Barnet Council. Sadly, the inside never quite lives up to this beginning. Even the more imaginative monuments here are quirky rather than spectacular; the flint-built chapel complex is tidy and there is much evidence of grass-cutting, but somehow this seems to only fight against the rural feeling of the stream and extensive tree-planting and leave the whole place rather undecided whether it's a neat municpal park or something retreating back into woodland wilderness. There are, however, special sections set aside for Greek, Russian and Japanese burials, which are worth visiting.

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Hammersmith Old Cemetery

The chief function of Hammersmith Cemetery seems to be to provide a short cut between Baron's Court tube station and Charing Cross Hospital, yet amazingly for such an open cemetery, several rather nice memorials have escaped the vandals' attention and the site in general is clean and well-maintained. Sextus Gisbert van Os' cushioned bed is almost as magnificent as his name, and the throne of the Fletcher family is, as far as I can see, unique. One small mausoleum in terracotta stands guard over the western end of the cemetery.

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St Marylebone Cemetery

St. Marylebone Cemetery, also known as East Finchley Cemetery, is perhaps most famous for being one of the three burial grounds sold by Westminster Council for 5p each, and later bought back at a cost of £4.2m.

Thank goodness this survived, because it's magnificent. The huge cedars at the entrance gates are appropriately gloomy, but what they hide is just glorious. Sensual angels and women are almost two a penny here, for in this affluent suburb, there was money for the truly individual. Opposite the chapel stands Sir Peter Russel's red granite column, complete with his bust on the top, and an angel carrying a well-muscled young man up to heaven. Further around the chapel are two blue bronze sculptures: Thomas Tate's dying youth atop his tomb, and Harry Ripley's draped mourner: sadly a huge yew bush has been grown in front of the latter. What looks like another chapel in the centre of the cemetery is in fact a mausoleum [forgotten who it belongs to - go and find out], in size to rival Mond's down the road at St. Pancras' Cemetery. Sir James Boyton's stone sarcophagus adorned with rams heads at the corners and the the Skarrett Hall family tomb, apparently modelled on Napoleon's, should also not be missed.

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Highgate Cemetery, east side

The eastern half of the Highgate Cemetery is the newer half, and visitors are free to wander unguided at will. The giant statue of Karl Marx is here, but there are plenty of other beautiful late-Victorian monmuments to be seen, as well as the atmospherically overgrown section further down the hill.

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