Kensal Green Cemetery

Cemetery in West London

For many years the most fashionable necropolis in England (you wouldn’t be seen dead anywhere else), Kensal Green Cemetery accepted its first occupants in 1833, and the Gothic boneyard is the final resting place of many illustrious names, including Charles Babbage, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, William Makepeace Thackeray, Baden Powell and the almost comically named Dr Albert Isaiah Coffin.

Supposedly based on the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in Paris, the cemetery is distinguished by its Greek Revival architecture, arched entrances and the outrageously ornate tombs that bear testimony to 19th-century delusions of grandeur. Two-hour tours of the cemetery are offered on Sundays at 2pm (from March to October; first and third Sundays per month other times) by the Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery (www.kensalgreen.co.uk). Some of these tours also visit the catacombs beneath the Anglican Chapel (although at the time of writing, they were still closed for the restoration of the chapel). The cemetery is laid out alongside the Grand Union Canal, which makes for splendid walks alongside the water, especially if the sun obliges.


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