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Latitude: 51.5672 / 51°34'2"N
Longitude: -0.1489 / 0°8'56"W
OS Eastings: 528394
OS Northings: 186998
OS Grid: TQ283869
Mapcode National: GBR DT.WN7
Mapcode Global: VHGQL.CVMX
Entry Name: Monument to Mary Nichols
Listing Date: 22 December 2011
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1403431
Location: Camden, London, N6
Electoral Ward/Division: Highgate
Parish: Non Civil Parish
Built-Up Area: Camden
Traditional County: Middlesex
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Greater London
Church of England Parish: St Michael Highgate
Church of England Diocese: London
Sculpted funerary monument in marble and granite, 1909
The monument is set into the slope next to the path leading to the cemetery's north-east gate. A white marble sculpture of an angel asleep upon a bed of clouds rests atop a thick black marble slab, beneath which is an inscription panel reading: 'In Ever Loving Memory of Mary, the darling wife of Arthur Nichols and fondly loved mother of their only son Harold, who fell asleep 7th May 1909.' Harold's infant son Dennis (d.1916) is also commemorated.
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.
The monument to Mary Nichols is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Artistic interest: marble sculpture of particularly high quality, an unusual variant on the classic Victorian theme of the funerary angel;
*Setting: it is located within the Grade I registered Highgate Cemetery and has group value with other listed tombs and structures nearby.
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