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The Egyptian Avenue and Lebanon Circle (Inner and Outer Circles),highgate Western Cemetery

A Grade I Listed Building in Barnet, London

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Latitude: 51.5685 / 51°34'6"N

Longitude: -0.1495 / 0°8'58"W

OS Eastings: 528348

OS Northings: 187135

OS Grid: TQ283871

Mapcode National: GBR DT.WGM

Mapcode Global: VHGQL.CT9Z

Plus Code: 9C3XHV92+95

Entry Name: The Egyptian Avenue and Lebanon Circle (Inner and Outer Circles),highgate Western Cemetery

Listing Date: 14 May 1974

Last Amended: 11 July 1999

Grade: I

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1271935

English Heritage Legacy ID: 472633

Location: Camden, London, N6

County: London

District: Camden

Electoral Ward/Division: Highgate

Built-Up Area: Camden

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London

Church of England Parish: St Michael Highgate

Church of England Diocese: London

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Listing Text

798-1/5/1563 The Egyptian Avenue and Lebanon Circle
14-MAY-74 (inner and outer circles),Highgate We
stern Cemetery

(Formerly listed as:
(Formerly listed as:


Terraced catacombs. Egyptian Avenue and inner ring c 1838-9 probably by J.B.Bunning; outer ring by Thomas Porter,c.1870. Circular plan of 2 concentric rings below ground level, gained by steps on opposing sides, and approached by an avenue of catacombs cut into the hillside with a false perspective giving the appearance of greater length (Egyptian Avenue). Stuccoed brick, stone steps, granite and marble dressings.
Egyptian Avenue: portal with flanking piers each having paired, partly reeded Egyptianate half columns with lotus bud capitals supporting a coved cornice with relief Greek crosses. Gateway of stepped pointed arch outlined by double roll moulding with a scored design; cast iron gates. Flanked by obelisks, that to left part missing. Avenue has eight chambers to each side. Each with similar roll moulded architrave to gateway, some with inscribed pedimented panel, each with pair of cast iron doors with inverted torchere. Brick- lined vaults with shelves to accommodate 12 coffins. Projecting continuous cornice. Inner portal arch treated as outer arch, coved cornice above. Flanking battered piers, screen retaining wall , terminating in square piers with lotus capitals, surmounted by eagle with ball.
Inner ring: 20 chambers, built into and around a circular island with a Cedar of Lebanon tree that predates the cemetery being a feature of the original garden to Ashurst House (demolished). Egyptianate style. Chamber entrances with reeded coved friezes, architraves stuccoed or in marble, some incised, and bearing inscription or inscribed panel above. Each with pair of iron doors as Egyptian avenue, signed Hervey Burnett, London. Continuous coved cornice and plain parapet.
Outer ring: heavily rusticated retaining wall, with Doric cornice. 16 chambers in Graeco-Egyptian style, each designed to accommodate 15 coffins. Entrances with trapezoidal eared surrounds, some in red granite, supporting pediments with cornices continuing as moulded band along retaining wall. Inscribed reveals and panels. Cast and wrought iron gates mostly as inner ring. Final chamber designated columbarium after 1888 licence to cremate. Includes the catacomb of Radclyffe Hall poet and novelist, shared with her partner Mabel Veronica Batten whose name appears above the entrance. The inscription 'And if God choose I shall but love thee better after death - Una' refers to Una, Lady Troubridge, Hall's partner for 28 years following Batten's death, who planned to be buried here but died in Rome and was buried before her wish was known. Pair of mausolea, that to right to Carl Rosa (qv).
The Egyptian Avenue and inner ring of the Circle of Lebanon formed part of the original cemetery layout. The proved so popular that the outer ring was added some forty years later.
Restored 1991 - 97
Winner of Europa Nostra award 1998

Listing NGR: TQ2834887135

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.

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