Advent calendar

Door seven

door sevenHighgate Cemetery might seem like a strange choice for inclusion in our #100geosites list, but it’s a great place to see a range of geology up close, in the middle of a city!

Built in 1839, Highgate was one of Victorian London’s most elaborate cemeteries. In the East Cemetery, open to the public, rocks used for headstones include granites, gabbros, larvikite and marbles, with some limestone monuments containing fossils, and more diverse gneisses and slates in the newer graves.

Highgate sent us this atmospheric image of the cemetery, reflecting its famously dramatic, overgrown landscape.

Highgate, c Highgate Cemetery

Highgate, c Highgate Cemetery


Michael Faraday, 1791-1867

Though the cemetery contains many famous names – from Karl Marx to Douglas Adams – we aren’t aware of any geological celebrities, though please let us know in the comments below if we’re wrong! Perhaps the most famous name from the world of science to be buried at Highgate is Michael Faraday, who is buried in the Sandemanian plot of the Western Cemetery. Sandemanianism was a nonconformist church founded in the early eighteenth century in Scotland.

Faraday began his scientific career as an assistant to Geological Society founder Humphry Davy, and went on to be an illustrious chemist, discovering many substances, establishing the laws of electrolysis and carrying out pioneering work in electricity and magnetism.

  • All the images featured in our advent posts are entries to the recent 100 Great Geosites photography competition. The 100 Geosites calendar, featuring the winning entries, is on sale now – and today is the last day for online orders to overseas destinations! For UK orders, the deadline is December 14th.

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