Wednesday, July 16, 2008

More from Highgate Cemetery - West Side

The guided tour on the West side of Highgate was definitely worth it.  It was a snapshot of lives in Victorian times, hearing all of the stories.
The peaceful vibe of Highgate with the winding paths is amazing.

Thomas Sayers was a bare-knuckled fighter in Victorian times.  The fighting was illegal so the locations would rotate and you could only find out about it by word of mouth.  Thomas Sayers was only defeated once in his career and his funeral procession was 4 1/2 miles long!  This is his grave above and the statue is of his dog Lion.

The detail and enormity of the statues at Highgate is incredible.  This is one of my favorite of the sleeping angel.  It is the only one that I saw that the angel was laying down.

Many of the Angel monuments are really tall - like over 10-12 feet or more.  This is a more traditional angel.

Julius Beer was a newspaper man and a self-made success story.  The mausoleum cost over 5000 pounds (10,000 dollars) 120 years ago which is staggering!  It is the highest monument on the west side and it is said that Julius built it that high to block the view from the promenade and thumb his nose to the aristocracy.  When Highgate fell into disrepair, the mausoleum was preserved inside due to 17 feet of pigeon POO.  Yes - pigeon POO!  Over the years, the inside of the mausoleum became a haven for the pigeons and their droppings accumulated over 17 feet which dissuaded many grave robbers in later years.  All the poo has been cleaned out and everything was intact in the mausoleum.  The picture below was into the mausoleum and the face of the little girl in the arms of the angel was actually the death mask for Beers' daughter who died at 8 years old.  It was difficult to see into the mausoleum so the clarity is not great.

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