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from whieh point the ground rises in a rather steep ascent to the northern terrace, immediately beneath the new church—is in a style, compounded of Gothic of all periods, and is, withal, a medley, without that sobriety, if not solemnity, which ought to have characterized it. Small in itself, it has been rendered a mass of littleness, owing to its having pigmy windows in the panels of buttresses, and to its roof being bristled all over with pinnacles. As an eyetrap, it is excellent; it being impossible to pass by it without wonder. For what are called the catacombs, the Egyptian style has been selected. The approach to these is through a sort of arched avenue,
whose entrance is flanked by two obelisks. This crypt-like passage, which is in the upper part of the grounds, is lined on each side by a range of sepulchral chambers and leads into another avenue, forming a ring or circular walk between similar sepulchral chambers, each of which has its Egyptian doorway. These sepulchres (each of which is capable of containing several tiers of coffins on three of its sides), amounting altogether to forty-six, besides eighteen others in the firstmentioned avenue, form as many sides of two polygons -an outer and inner one.
Midway, or corresponding with the entrance from the lower grounds, is an ascent, first by a single flight of steps, and then by others on each side, to a terrace which overlooks the catacombs, and from which they present a striking appearance—the summit of the inner polygon being covered with earth, and having a large cedar planted in its centre. The back wall of this terrace is formed by a range of building in a semi-gothic style, crowned by a fancy open work parapet, placed before another terrace, that is immediately under the south end of the Gothic church, erected some few years ago by Mr. Vulliamy. Along the east side of this church is a lane, forming the north entrance into the cemetery.
The prospect from this upper terrace is exceedingly beautiful.”
From the “ Penny Magazine” of 21st Dec., 1839: “ The North-London or Highgate Cemetery, consecrated in May last, by the Bishop of London, is situated at a distance of little more than four miles from the Exchange. Its grounds comprise about twenty acres-forming a portion of that side of Highgate Hill which faces the metropolis. We enter them from a lane on the west side by a little Gothic building. On the left of this stands the chapel. It contains a gallery for the use of friends and others who may wish to be present. On the right of the gateway are several retiring rooms, and the residences of the several officers of the establishment. The grounds generally are laid out with good taste, though in rather a florid style, and the natural beauties of the situation developed and enhanced by the aid of art. From the entrance, broad gravel paths wind to the right and to the left, whilst a carriage road conducts visitors up the steep face of the hill, towards the new and hand some church of Highgate, dedicated to St. Michael, which crowns the summit, appearing from distant parts of the ground to great advantage, and which even seems, at a hasty glance, to appertain to the cemetery. Throughout the grounds, parterres of sweetscented flowers, picturesque trees, and clumps of evergreens, are scattered in the most appropriate spots. As we ascend the hill we see on the left an archway of Egyptian character, which forms the entrance to the catacombs, in which the coffins are placed in cavities formed by the most solid masonry. Having examined these, a circular path brings us again to the entrance. On the top of the central compartment of the catacombs is a fine cedar tree, spreading its dark branches over the whole. Leaving the catacombs, we find ourselves almost immediately on a broad level terrace, with a handsome balustrade, at the very foot of the church. The view from this point is remarkably fine, and is alone well worth a visit from the metropolis. The beauties of the place, indeed, appear to be fully appreciated, for the gardens as we may not inappropriataly term the grounds, are daily filled with persons evidently enjoying the quiet, the pure air, and the splendid landscape. Standing upon this terrace, the spectator sees immediately below him the cemetery grounds, with their close-cut lawns and flower-borders, and the light pinnacles of the chapel, contrasting with the dark foliage behind ; beyond this his eye ranges along the undulations of the valley, whose sides are covered with gently sloping green fields, relieved at intervals by ancient elms and wide-spreading lime trees; whilst farther still appears London, with its mighty mass of buildings, and its thousand spires and towers, rising dimly through the clouded atmosphere.”
THE WEST OF LONDON AND WESTMINSTER
This is the last metropolitan cemetery established by Act of Parliament, and is situate in the parish of St. Mary Abbots, Kensington.
The situation, so far as adjacency to a large population is concerned, is, perhaps, better than any of the others, excepting Abney Park.
The Act estimates the quantity of ground at forty acres more or less.
It is now inclosed, and an entrance lodge and offices have been erected.
The site has no natural attractions whatever, having been, immediately prior to its conversion into a cemetery, a market gardener's ground, and some portion of it had been excavated for brick earth.
Not a tree, and scarcely a shrub, adorns the place, and the very turf has to be formed and supplied.
The ground having for years been in use for garden or brick-earth purposes, has been much disturbed, and is of a very loose nature. The shingly matter and rubbish, which the brickmakers deposit in the room of the valuable soil which they excavate and burn, is almost the least adapted of all soils to burial purposes.
The entrance is in the Italian style, and pleasing in its appearance. The wall bounding the side of the estate next the road is so built with open arches, screened by light iron railing, that a complete view is given of the whole cemetery to the passing traveller.
This is a good and useful arrangement, and one of which no other cemetery is possessed. The shape of the ground is nearly a lengthened parallelogram ; and there is nothing to interrupt the view over the whole.
The Episcopal chapel is in the course of erection, and it is stated that two other chapels will be erected, to be respectively appropriated to Roman Catholics and Dissent
The ground was consecrated by the Bishop of London in June last (1840).
In the matter of fees to the clergy, this cemetery has been hardly dealt with.
It will be recollected, that the cemetery at Kensal Green pays a fee of five shillings upon each corpse brought from parishes within the bills of mortality and diocese of London, for interment within the consecrated catacombs, vaults, or brick graves; and a fee of one shilling and sixpence for every body in the same manner brought for interment in any portion of the open ground (consecrated). The Highgate Cemetery pays the same amount of fee, but the range of its liability extends to all parishes within five miles of the cemetery. The Westminster Cemetery Company is positively compelled to pay to the incumbent of any parish, within ten miles of the cemetery, from which any body shall be brought for interment within the consecrated portion : no matter whether in vault, catacomb, or open ground, or whether it be the corpse of a child, or an adult, the sum of ten shillings for each body! and to the parish clerk of the parish, (if he was in office at the time of passing the act, the sum of one shilling!
The tax, so levied on this company, is not only arbitrary in its nature, but, admitting its justice for a moment, it appears unreasonable in amount. The fairest way of proving the last observation is to test it by the experience of the longest established cemetery. The number of interments in the consecrated part of the cemetery at Kensal Green exceeds 4,000; taking it, however, at that amount, the clergy would have