I have visited only its East part, where Karl Marx is buried. His grave and other famous memorials are well preserved, but the most part of this old Victorian cemetery looks different. See how it is.
The wild nature came where accurate rows of graves once been. The overgrown weeds and ivy cover all. The trees are almost as many as in the real wood, and if you dare to look into the green depths of foliage you'll see many, many forgotten headstones of long dead Victorians. I remembered these TS Eliot's lines watching the inglorious end of that noble and energetic generation of Englishmen, who's done so many to establish the power of their country, but now turned to dust.
O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark,
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant,
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters,
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers,
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees,
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark,
And dark the Sun and Moon, and the Almanach de Gotha
And the Stock Exchange Gazette, the Directory of Directors,
And cold the sense and lost the motive of action.
And we all go with them, into the silent funeral,
Nobody's funeral, for there is no one to bury.
I had not thought death had undone so many.
There was a fashion for religious symbols in Victorian times. There are many angels on Highgate; some of them lost their wings or arms or both. This one has lost his head, but the right hand still points to heaven, from whence he came and where the soul must return...as they possibly thought.
And this broken stature is a former crucifix, still recognizable although neither hands nor feet of our crucified Saviour remain where they were hundred years before. You'll see no face no limbs no cross.
The eyes are not here.
There are no eyes here.
In this valley of dying stars.
In this hollow valley
And here is the cross, overturned and fallen like a shadow on the new Omen movie poster. No one cares.