A thoroughly fascinating trip to Highgate Cemetery this week in Year 4! We explored the wonders of the West side of the Cemetery, which included learning about George Wombwell and his two lions! Thomas Sayers who was a well-known bare-knuckle prize fighter and had 10,000 people attend his funeral whereas, Karl Marx only had 20! We also learned Elizabeth Jackson was the very first person buried at the cemetery and Michael Faraday was an important scientist who contributed to the invention of electricity.
We know Highgate Cemetery was built during the Victorian era and there was a need for cemeteries due to the poor conditions and diseases during that time which led to many deaths. The cost of a grave would be roughly around £61,000 our lovely tour guides Peter and Terry shared with us and there are currently 53 thousand graves!
We went through into Egyptian Avenue and even entered one of the catacombs. We found out Egyptian Avenue is where one of the rarest spiders known as the: Orb Weaver Spider can be located and we are told there are many of them inside the vaults due to the spiders only living in complete darkness…. and thankfully for us, we did not have to see any!!!
We ventured to the East side of the Cemetery, where we discovered George Eliot (also known as Mary Ann Cross), Claudia Jones (who helped launch Notting Hill Carnival) and Karl Marx (German philosopher)! We were astonished at the abundance of history which is right on our doorstep in our local area and will take what we have learned on the trip into our lessons for the rest of the term!