Stone ledger slab, 1861, by Robert Daniel of Highgate
Reason for Listing
The monument to Henry Gray is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Historic interest: commemorates a celebrated anatomist and medical writer, whose classic textbook remains in use today;
*Setting: it is located within the Grade I registered Highgate Cemetery and has group value with other listed tombs and structures nearby.
Henry Gray (1826-61) was a surgeon and anatomist, now remembered for his textbook Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, published in 1858 with illustrations by Henry Vandyke Carver. Gray died of smallpox only a few years after its publication, but the book - known as Gray's Anatomy - became one of the most celebrated and widely-used medical texts in history, and is now in its 40th British edition.
Highgate Cemetery was the third of London's 'magnificent seven' burial grounds, a ring of suburban cemeteries established in the 1830s and 1840s to relieve pressure on overcrowded urban churchyards. It was the creation of the London Cemetery Company, a joint-stock company founded by the architect and engineer Stephen Geary and formally instituted by Act of Parliament in 1836. A seventeen-acre site on Highgate Hill was laid out as a picturesque garden cemetery with a network of serpentine drives, culminating in a monumental catacomb complex at the top of the hill. Geary himself supplied the initial plans, with assistance from the architect JB Bunning and from the landscape gardener David Ramsay. The cemetery, opened in 1839 and extended to the east of Swain's Lane in 1854, enjoyed great popularity and prestige during the second half of the C19 (famous occupants include George Eliot, Christina Rossetti and Karl Marx), but lack of money and maintenance led to a severe decline during the C20. Since 1975 it has been run on a charitable basis by the present Friends group.
A plain ledger stone with a slightly bowed top. The inscription reads: 'In memory of Henry Gray of Wilton Street, Belgrave Square, F.R.S., F.R.C.S., who died 18th June 1861 aged 34 years. Also of Mrs Ann Gray, mother of the above, who died December 15th 1866 aged 74 years.' At the foot of the slab is the plot number and the name of the mason, Robert Daniel of Highgate.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.