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Bunhill Fields Highgate Cemetary Kensal Green Cemetary

There are many cemeteries in London but three are of particular interest due to the number of notable people buried in them (see the list).

Bunhill Fields was a cemetery opened towards the end of the 17th century providing burial plots for Nonconformists. Situated just north of the City of London the four acre site houses the graves of three major literary figures. The cemetery stayed in use until the middle of the 19th century.

In 1832 Kensal Green Cemetery was the first of seven major new cemeteries to be built in London over the following decade. A response to the burgeoning population of the capital, these private cemeteries soon replaced the inner city churchyards which had become overcrowded and the source of disease and epidemics.

Situated in west London, Kensal Green soon became one of Victorian London's most fashionable burial grounds, especially after the funeral there in 1843 of
Augustus Frederick, the Duke of Sussex and son of George III and Queen Charlotte, who became the first member of the royal family to be buried in a public cemetery. His sister, Princess Sophia, wanting to be buried near her brother, was also buried there in 1848. The cemetery contains the graves of many other notable people.

The third of the seven new London cemeteries opened in 1839 and became the most famous. Highgate Cemetery also became fashionable with the Victorians and was the chosen burial ground for many people of note, including its most famous resident: Karl Marx.

The other five major London cemeteries which opened at the time were: West Norwood Cemetery (1837), Abney Park Cemetery (1840), Nunhead Cemetery (1840), Brompton Cemetery (1840), and Tower Hamlets Cemetery (1841).

Here is a selection of some notable people buried or interred at Bunhill Fields, Highgate and Kensal Green.

Bunhill Fields

John Bunyan
died 1688 Portrait
George Fox
Founder of the Quakers
died 1691 Portrait
Daniel Defoe
died 1731 Portrait
William Blake
Artist and poet
died 1827 Portrait


Highgate Cemetery

Michael Faraday
Chemist and physicist
died 1867 Portrait
George Eliot
died 1880 Portrait
Karl Marx
Political philosopher
died 1883 Portrait
Christina Rossetti
died 1894 Portrait
Ralph Richardson
died 1983 Portrait
Beryl Bainbridge
died 2010 Portrait
Alan Sillitoe
died 2010 Portrait


Kensal Green Cemetery

Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex
Son of
George III
died 1843 Portrait
Princess Sophia
Daughter of
George III
died 1848 Portrait
Marc Isambard Brunel
Civil engineer and inventor
died 1849 Portrait
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Civil engineer and inventor
died 1859 Portrait
William Makepeace Thackeray
died 1863 Portrait
Charles Babbage
Mathematician and computing pioneer
died 1871 Portrait

Anthony Trollope

died 1882 Portrait
Wilkie Collins
died 1889 Portrait
Charles Blondin
Tightrope walker and acrobat
died 1897 ---
Harold Pinter
Nobel-prize winning playwright
died 2008 Portrait


According to the Kensal Green Cemetery website although the following people were cremated at the cemetery their ashes were interred or scattered elsewhere.

Ingrid Bergman

Freddie Mercury


Fred Zinnemann

Film director

Iris Murdoch

Joe Strummer


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