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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Highgate is an area of North London on the north-eastern corner of Hampstead Heath.

The area is characterised by many green expanses including three ancient woods, a park and a famous cemetery.


In popular culture

  • Highgate's historic feel - in particular the gothic atmosphere of its cemetery - has provided the backdrop to a considerable number of films, including Hammer Horror movies of the 1970s and, more recently, Shaun of the Dead and Dorian Gray.
  • A famous scene in pantomime is set in Highgate. Dick Whittington and His Cat are characters in an English story adapted to the stage in 1605, which since the 19th century has become one of the most popular pantomime subjects, very loosely based on the historical Richard Whittington, a medieval Lord Mayor of London. Dick, a boy from a poor family in Gloucestershire, walks to London to make his fortune, accompanied by his cat. He meets with little success there. As Dick and cat are making for home, discouraged, by way of Highgate Hill, they hear the Bow Bells from distant London; Dick believes they are sending him a message to "turn again" - and that he will become Lord Mayor of London. They return; Dick makes his fortune and indeed becomes Lord Mayor. The Whittington Hospital on Highgate Hill is named after the story, and a statue of Dick's faithful pet stands nearby.
  • "London Song" by Ray Davies: "If you're ever up on Highgate Hill on a clear day, You can see right down to Leicester Square". The cover shoot for the 1971 Kinks album Muswell Hillbillies took place in various locations around HIghgate, the back inset on the original album cover showed the band on the traffic island that used to stand on the intersection of Southwood Lane and Castle Yard. The cover for their 1968 album The Village Green Preservation Society was photographed on Parliament HIll with Highgate as the backdrop.
  • "Waterlow" by Mott the Hoople, from their 1971 album Wildlife, is a tribute to Highgate's Waterlow Park.
  • Rod Stewart sings about his Highgate upbringing in "Highgate Shuffle", from the live album Unplugged... and Seated.
  • In the song "Cross-Eyed Mary" by Jethro Tull, the title character is referred to as the "Robin Hood of Highgate".
  • The pub tradition of Swearing on the Horns originated in Highgate.
  • Nick, a character in Jane Green's "Mr. Maybe" lives in a bedsit in Highgate.
  • In Dickens' novel David Copperfield James Steerforth lives in a house at the top of Highgate West Hill.

Transport and locale

Nearest places

Nearest tube stations

Places of interest

Highgate is known for its pubs which line the old high street and surrounding streets. Some notable favourites are The Angel, the Flask and the Wrestlers.


The name of the village is commonly Template:Pron-en, rhyming with "flyweight". An alternative pronunciation, used by the London Underground in announcements at Highgate tube station, is Template:IPA-en, where the final syllable matches the last syllable in "tag it".


For details of education in the Haringey portion of Highgate see the London Borough of Haringey article.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Highgate" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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