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Top Stones in London

By Linda Tancs

So what does a famous London cemetery have to do with geology? The answer lies in the rocks, of course. The rocks used for headstones at Highgate Cemetery make it a great place to see a wide range of geology in an urban setting. In the East Cemetery (highly popular due to the burial site of Karl Marx) these include granite, gabbro, larvikite, marble and some limestone monuments containing fossils. Thanks to the range of rocks and stones used as headstones, mausoleums and monuments, the cemetery was voted one of the top 100 geosites in the U.K. and Ireland by The Geological Society. Built in 1839, Highgate was one of Victorian London’s most elaborate cemeteries, with Gothic catacombs and mausoleums in Egyptian and Classical styles. Visitors may roam the East Cemetery freely with payment of an admission charge. The West Cemetery is open to guided tours only. Take Archway, not Highgate, tube.

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