List entry

List entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.


List entry Number: 1271935



The building may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
Greater London AuthorityCamdenLondon Borough

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: I

Date first listed: 14-May-1974

Date of most recent amendment: 11-Jul-1999

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: LBS

UID: 472633

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Building

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

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Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


TQ2887SW SWAIN'S LANE 798-1/5/1563 The Egyptian Avenue and Lebanon Circle 14-MAY-74 (inner and outer circles),Highgate We stern Cemetery (Formerly listed as: SWAIN'S LANE THE EGYPTIAN AVENUE AND COLUMBARIUM IN HIGHGATE (WESTERN) CEMETERY) (Formerly listed as: HIGHGATE (WESTERN) CEMETERY THE COLUMB ARIUM AND EGYPTIAN AVENUE)


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

Selected Sources

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National Grid Reference: TQ 28348 87135


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This copy shows the entry on 28-Aug-2015 at 08:16:07.