There are a number of events and open days throughout the year open to the public which prove popular with historians, tourists and locals. A list of forthcoming events is shown on this page.
Tickets may 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 Days: those who come specifically for Open Day tours and events are requested to dress and behave with respect and consideration for all those in the cemetery on the day.
Visitors are welcome to take still photos of monuments and landscape throughout the cemetery for personal reference. 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.
No events currently scheduled
Please note: FoKGC handles bookings for Mausolea & Monuments Trust
Date / time: 18:30 12-May-21
One of the more enduring images of North Korea in the Western world, alongside the nuclear weapons and the grandiose military parades of tanks, missiles and soldiers, is the thousands of grief-stricken, weeping North Koreans who lined the streets of Pyongyang in sub-zero temperatures in December 2011 to bid farewell to the deceased Kim Jong-il. His body, alongside that of his father and predecessor, Kim il-Sung, was embalmed and put on permanent display at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun - a vast expanse of neo-classical architecture that acts as the most sacred of national monuments in North Korea. Seemingly beyond the desire, reach or even knowledge of many, visiting North Korea and the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun as a 'tourist' is possible. Beyond the ubiquitous propaganda and the carefully caricatured visage shown to tourists, a visit can help to discredit popularly perpetuated myths about the country as well as shedding light on the efforts of the state to immortalise the rule of the Kim family in the minds of North Korean citizens.
Sam Swash is studying for a doctorate in North Korean Studies at the International Institute of Korean Studies at the University of Central Lancashire - his project is a study of the importance of the mausoleum and death culture to the North Korean state. Sam spent a week in North Korea in 2017 during the nationwide celebrations of Kim il-Sung's 105th birthday.
Date / time: 18:30 16-Jun-21
Intensely private yet constructed on one of busiest roads into Georgian Bath, Beckford’s Tower (1826-7) was at one time intended to be the mausoleum of its creator William Beckford (1760-1844). This talk will explore the architectural development of the building and its landscape, and investigate the work being undertaken to interpret all aspects of Beckford’s life as a designer, writer, collector and slave owner.
Dr Amy Frost is an architectural historian and Senior Curator of the Bath Preservation Trust’s Four museums
Date / time: 18:30 14-Jul-21
While the inevitability of death is widely noted, responses to this universal truth can differ over time and from place to place. Although Scotland’s burial traditions are broadly similar to the rest of the UK, this talk will explore whether the interaction of legislation, religious beliefs and other cultural differences have produced a particularly Scottish dimension to beliefs, attitudes and practices linked to post-Reformation graveyards. The talk will look at the history of Scottish graveyards from the Reformation of around 1560 to the emergence of Lawn Cemeteries in the 20th century, asking what do we mean by ‘Scottish’ graveyards and what relevance might this particular focus have for graveyards elsewhere in the UK?
Talk by Dr Susan Buckham, Graveyards Project Manager, Edinburgh World Heritage
Date / time: 18:30 11-Aug-21
The Chapel Royal and Royal Peculiar of Saint Peter ad Vincula or ‘Saint Peter in Chains’ is located within the Inner Ward of the Tower of London World Heritage Site. Constructed in 1520, this working chapel serves the spiritual needs of the Tower community and is best known as the resting place of three queens of England and two catholic saints: Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, Lady Jane Grey, St. John Fisher and St Thomas More.
This talk observes the history of the chapel at the Tower, which can be traced to the 9th century, and discusses recent archaeological excavations which have unearthed new evidence concerning its development and use as the spiritual heart of England’s most famous fortress.
Alfred Hawkins is Assistant Curator of Historic Buildings at HM Tower of London and the Banqueting House, Whitehall which are cared for and operated by Historic Royal Palaces.
Date / time: 18:30 13-Oct-21
A talk by Dr Hannah Malone
Italians have a special relationship with their dead and that relationship gave shape to Italy’s modern cemeteries. Whereas until the late eighteenth century the dead had been buried in urban churches and graveyards, from the early 1800s, the prohibition of burial within cities across Europe led to the creation of new cemeteries, which were suburban, public, secular, and socially inclusive. Their importance reflected the celebration of death in an era of Romanticism and individualism. Particularly in Italy, many cities built new cemeteries that were unparalleled in their scale and grandeur. Although Romantic culture was widespread throughout Europe, Italy’s cemeteries of the nineteenth century were distinctive in that they were monumental rather than landscaped, and unique in their size and cost.
Drawing on her monograph, Architecture, Death and Nationhood: Monumental Cemeteries of Nineteenth-Century Italy (Routledge, 2017), and discussed at the time in Mausolus, this talk will explore Italy’s monumental cemeteries as a distinctly Italian phenomenon.
Dr Hannah Malone is based at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Centre for the History of Emotions in Berlin having previously studied at Magdalen College Cambridge.