Highgate facts for kids

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Highgate
Hampstead Heath 7.JPG
Highgate seen from Parliament Hill
Highgate shown within Greater London
Population 10,955 (2011 Census. Ward)
OS grid reference TQ285875
London borough
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district N6
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament
  • Holborn and St Pancras
London Assembly
  • Barnet and Camden
  • Enfield and Haringey
  • North East
List of places
UK
England
LondonCoordinates: 51°34′18″N 0°08′41″W / 51.5716°N 0.1448°W / 51.5716; -0.1448

Highgate (/ˈhɡt/ or /ˈhɡt/) is a suburban area of north London at the north-eastern corner of Hampstead Heath, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) north north-west of Charing Cross.

Highgate is one of the most expensive London suburbs in which to live. It has an active conservation body, the Highgate Society, to protect its character.

Until late Victorian times it was a distinct village outside London, sitting astride the main road to the north. The area retains many green expanses including the eastern part of Hampstead Heath, three ancient woods, Waterlow Park and the eastern-facing slopes known as Highgate bowl.

At its centre is Highgate village, a collection of largely Georgian shops, pubs, restaurants and residential streets, interspersed with diverse landmarks such as St Michael's Church and steeple, St. Joseph's Church and its green copper dome, Highgate School (1565), Jacksons Lane arts centre housed in a Grade II listed former church, the Gatehouse Inn dating from 1670 and Berthold Lubetkin's 1930s Highpoint buildings. Highgate also contains the Victorian cemetery in which the Communist philosopher Karl Marx is buried, and many other notable people.

The village is at the top of North Hill which provides views across London: it is 129 metres (423 ft) above sea level at its highest point.

The area is divided between three London boroughs: Haringey in the north, Camden in the south and west, and Islington in the south and east. The postal district is N6.

History

John Constable 003
View of Highgate, John Constable, 1st quarter of 19th century.

Historically, Highgate adjoined the Bishop of London's hunting estate. Highgate gets its name from these hunting grounds, as there was a high, deer-proof hedge surrounding the estate: 'the gate in the hedge'.

The bishop kept a toll-house where one of the main northward roads out of London entered his land. A number of pubs sprang up along the route, one of which, the Gatehouse, commemorates the toll-house.

In later centuries Highgate was associated with the highwayman Dick Turpin.

Hampstead Lane and Highgate Hill contain the red brick Victorian buildings of Highgate School and its adjacent Chapel of St Michael. The school has played a paramount role in the life of the village and has existed on its site since its founding was permitted by letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I in 1565.

The area north of the High Street and Hampstead Lane was part of Hornsey parish and also later the Municipal Borough of Hornsey and the seat of that borough's governing body for many years.

Highgate Hill, the steep street linking Archway (traditionally called part of Upper Holloway) and Highgate village, was the route of the first cable car to be built in Europe. It operated between 1884 and 1909.

Like much of London, Highgate suffered damage during World War II by German air raids. The local tube station was used as a bomb shelter.

Transport and locale

Angel Inn, Highgate, N6
The Angel Inn
Dukes Head, Highgate, N6 (2883803424)
The Duke's Head
Kenwood House
Kenwood House

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, the Duke's Head and the Wrestlers.

  • Highgate Cemetery
  • Highgate School
  • Highgate Wood
  • Jacksons Lane
  • Kenwood House
  • Highpoint I and II
  • Athlone House formally known as Caen Wood Towers - (Home of the RAF Intelligence School 1942-48)
  • Archway Bridge
  • Furnival House
  • St Michael's Church

Pronunciation

The name of the village is commonly /ˈhɡt/; however, the London Underground in announcements at Highgate tube station uses the alternative pronunciation of /ˈhɡt/, where the final syllable matches the last syllable in "frigate".

Demography

The 2011 census showed that the Highgate ward of Haringey was 82% white (60% British, 19% Other, 3% Irish). The Highgate ward of Camden meanwhile was 80% white (61% British, 15% Other, 4% Irish), and 3% Black African.

Modern notoriety

On Friday 26 August 1988, Michael Williams, a 43-year-old father from Highgate who worked for the Home Office in Pimlico, disappeared whilst travelling back home after an employee social. His body was found at Highgate Wood the next day. His killer has never been found.

The case remains unsolved despite being featured heavily in the national press and on BBC TV's Crimewatch programme.

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 films of the 1970s and, more recently, Shaun of the Dead and Dorian Gray.
  • The pub tradition of Swearing on the Horns originated in Highgate.
  • In Dickens' novel David Copperfield James Steerforth lives in a house at the top of Highgate West Hill.
  • In the popular BBC sitcom, Are You Being Served?, Mr. Lucas (played by Trevor Bannister) lives in Highgate.

Images for kids


Highgate Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.