Keeping Highgate Cemetery Alive

The Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust is undertaking a major project to conserve and unlock Highgate Cemetery’s remarkable landscape of memories, preparing it to combat the effects of climate change and to better meet the needs and expectations of the community The Trust is being assisted by a world-renowned team of architects, landscape designers and arboriculturists. But we want everyone to help shape the process of renewal. We would like you to share your own experiences, thoughts and ideas for conserving Highgate Cemetery as a cemetery for the 21st century.

Summer Exhibition 2023

We are currently holding an exhibition that outlines the Friend’s of Highgate Cemetery Trust’s plans to:

  • Improve the landscape to address risks including diseased trees and the impact of the climate crisis
  • Restore the cemetery's monuments and buildings
  • Develop new activities that benefit all
  • Create new buildings and facilities to support the Trust’s plans and improve the visitor experience
  • Improve the accessibility throughout the Cemetery

View the exhibition boards

Take the exhibition survey

Your Highgate Cemetery

What about Highgate Cemetery is important to you? Do you have any suggestions how the Trust can improve the experience for grave owners, local community and visitors? Please share a photo and comment that captures the Cemetery for you.

Highgate Cemetery Conservation Plan

In 2019, the Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust launched the ‘Highgate Cemetery Conservation Plan’. Although Highgate is the most enchanting of Britain’s historic cemeteries, it is threatened by a legacy of diseased and self-set trees, decaying monuments and tired buildings. The plan will:

  • make visiting Highgate Cemetery easier and more rewarding;
  • restore the magnificence of its landscape, buildings and monuments, with biodiverse and more resilient planting that accords with the original picturesque vision
  • provide events and activities that allow everyone to find their own meanings in this magical place

A link to the Conservation Plan can be found in the timeline below.

Highgate Cemetery Act 2022

A key part of the Conservation Plan is ensuring that Highgate Cemetery can continue as an active place of burial. Over 180 years since the first grave was sold at Highgate Cemetery the space available for new graves is almost exhausted, but there is plenty more room. The Highgate Cemetery 2022 Act gives the Trust powers to take back abandoned graves no longer wanted by their historic owners so that they can be made available for the present and future generations. You can read more details about the grave renewal process here.

The design team

Following a high-profile competition, a multi-disciplinary design team has been appointed to bring the Conservation Plan to life. Gustafson Porter + Bowman will lead on the landscape, Hopkins Architects on the buildings and historic structures, and Useful Projects will ensure the project is executed to the highest sustainability standards. You can read more details about the design team here.

Upcoming consultation activities

The conservation project is all about unlocking the potential of Highgate Cemetery and enhancing its role in the community. The Friends of Highgate Cemetery Trust want to pass it on to future generations in a state that they will be able to use, appreciate and enjoy. Over the next few months there will be opportunities to learn more about the conservation project as plans evolve and to share your reactions. A community liaison group has been established to review plans and discuss project information. Through their deliberations, its members will help the Trust ensure that the conservation project caters for the needs of the local community.

  • Our stall at Fair in the Square on Saturday 10th June 2023 will display information relating to the Conservation Project and an opportunity to submit feedback and comments. Fair in the Square, Pond Square, Highgate, N6 6BS Saturday 10th June 2023 12.30 - 5.30pm Free Admission
  • A drop-in exhibition will be mounted in the courtyard of the Cemetery with further information as the design process evolves. The exhibition will run from 12th July 2023. We welcome all to visit and share your experiences and ideas to inform the Conservation Project at Highgate Cemetery. The courtyard is free for all to access during our normal opening times, every day between 10-5pm. Further details on visiting can be found on our home page.

Timeline: The Conservation project at a glance


Highgate Cemetery Conservation Plan

Documents the Cemetery's Conservation Plans for the next 25 years, outlining 35 policies to deal with the key issues.

Read the Highgate Cemetery Conservation Plan

Highgate Cemetery Bill Announcement

A notice is published in the Camden New Journal, Ham and High, Islington Tribune and The Times announcing application to Parliament.

Read the Highgate Cemetery Bill Press Release

Highgate Bill deposited to Parliament

Read the Highgate Cemetery Bill Explanatory Memorandum

Highgate Bill detail

Read the Highgate Bill Booklet


Competition launched

An invitation for Landscape Architects and Architects to express their interest & ideas for the future vision for Highgate Cemetery.


Competition announcement

Announcement of Gustafson Porter and Bowman Landscape Architects and Hopkins Architects as the winning practices to take forward a design for Highgate Cemetery.


Highgate Cemetery Act 2022

The Bill is passed which allows Highgate Cemetery to continue to function as an active cemetery.

Read the Highgate Cemetery Act 2022

Stage 1 Update Report

Read the Highgate Cemetery Stage 1 Report to Members

Further information and updates will be added to this section as the project progresses.
Please check back or sign up below to stay informed and keep up to date.

Sign-up for news

To be kept up-to-date on the changes at Highgate Cemetery, please sign up to our engagement mailing list. We will use this to inform you of key milestones relating to the conservation project and opportunities to feed into the process.

Your link to the cemetery

Your details

Your personal information is captured, held and processed by Participatr Limited for the purposes of this project only. Participatr Limited has created and launched this engagement platform on behalf of Highgate Cemetery, and we collectively make decisions about how personal information is captured, held, processed and analysed, meaning that we are joint data controllers for the purposes of the General Data Protection Regulation.

Your name and email address is used to identify you as a single respondent and to send you news and information about this project. Your postcode is used to understand the broad location of respondents and will not be used to contact you in any way. All of your personal information is held in a secure database on a server located in the United Kingdom. For more information about how we use your personal information, please visit our privacy policy.