Tours of Kensal Green
Tours begin on the porch of the Anglican Chapel, in the middle of the cemetery.
The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery offer guided tours of the cemetery every Sunday afternoon from the beginning of March to the end of October,and the first and third Sunday of the month in November, December, January and February. Every tour provides an introduction to Kensal Green, its history, architecture and development, and to some of the many famous (and infamous) figures buried within this great necropolis.
The Sunday tour begins at 14.00 from the steps of the Anglican Chapel, at the centre of the cemetery; please allow at least ten minutes to walk from either of the two gates. To support the work of The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, we request a donation of £7.00 per person (£5.00 concessions and members of English Heritage) on public tours. There is no need to book on the regular Sunday tours, unless you are bringing a group of more than ten. Larger groups may wish to consider a private tour.
About The Tours
Tour Length & Guides
Tours last for about two hours, and usually conclude at the Dissenters' Chapel, where the Friends' bookstall offers a selection of guidebooks and other publications, as well as postcards and badges.
Tours are offered in all weathers, so please wear appropriate outdoor clothing and walking shoes. Tours proceed at a leisurely pace, and keep to the safest paths, but visitors who have difficulty walking on uneven ground are advised to use their discretion.
All tours are led by volunteers from Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery, many of whom are professional guides and lecturers. There is no standard tour, so no two visits are ever quite the same. Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery may join the weekly tour as often as they like, at no charge. Depending on volunteer trustees being available, tea and biscuits are usually available after tours.
Following an environmental survey in preparation for the restoration of the entire Anglican Chapel complex, the General Cemetery Company has suspended tours of the catacomb beneath the Anglican Chapel, but all tours can now visit the small catacomb beneath the Dissenters' Chapel. Although guests are welcome to take still photos during the cemetery tour, as the catacombs were intended for private interment, photography is not permitted within the catacomb.
Currently the catacombs are not accessible and await refurbishment.
Visitors are asked not to film or record any tour except for reference, with the express permission of the guide.
Open Days At Kensal Green
Reporting on his first visit to Kensal Green's annual Open Day, Evening Standard columnist Tim Lott wrote: "There were tours of the cemetery, a display of 20 hearses, women with coffin-shaped handbags, penny-farthing bicycles, a Black Sabbath tribute band and a stall selling honey and jam. It was like a cross between a funeral, a gig by the Cure and a village fete." Click here to read Sam Knight's feature from Talk of the Town magazine, The Independent on Sunday, 27 July 2003 (first published in The Independent on Sunday, reproduced with permission).
Tickets can be booked on the day; early booking is strongly advised as tours usually sell out by early afternoon. Tours keep to the main paths, but sensible shoes -- and protection from sun or rain as the day demands -- are advisable.
Visitors are politely reminded that Kensal Green is a working cemetery which still conducts funerals daily, and that the bereaved may be visiting the graves of family or friends during Open Day: those who come specifically for Open Day tours and events are requested to dress and behave with respect and consideration for all those who may be in the cemetery on the day.
Visitors are welcome to take still photos of monuments and landscape throughout the cemetery, for personal reference only. Formal permission is required for commercial photography and the use of models, amateur or professional, and for recording, filming and/or broadcasting of any kind, including Webcasting: please contact the General Cemetery Company directly for further information.
Events At Kensal Green
There are a number of events that take place throughout the year that are open to the public and prove popular with historians, tourists and locals. Here you'll find a complete list of forthcoming events, activities, open days and lectures taking place at Kensal Green Cemetery.
If you would like to know more about Kensal Green Cemetery, we can be contact at the following address:
The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery
c/o The General Cemetery Company
London, W10 4RA
Messages & enquiries: 07530 676151 (mobile)