Unlike Highgate Cemetery West, the East side is self-guided – you are given a map which marks the most notable people buried there and then left to explore at leisure. The East Cemetery was opened by the London Cemetery Company in 1860. The aim of the cemetery was to maximise space, which is why it was designed with less ornate decoration and buildings then the West Cemetery.
Of course the most famous monument in the East Cemetery is that of Karl Marx.
I have no particular feelings about Marx one way or the other but there were several graves that I did deliberately seek out to visit. These included the author George Eliot
and the author Alan Sillitoe, who was of course from Nottingham (I’m reading his book The Open Door at the moment).
I was also interested in the graves of these 78 sisters of Bethany. The Sisters of Bethany is an Anglican order that was founded in Clerkenwell, London in 1866. I was hoping for some sort of story behind them all buried here together but there was nothing in particular I could find.
There may not have been lots of large monuments in this cemetery but there were certainly some lovely angel sculptures.
Definitely worth a visit in conjunction with the West Cemetery, you can find more photos here.