Britain's Most Prestigious Cemetery


The General Cemetery of All Souls, Kensal Green, is one of England's oldest and most beautiful public burial grounds, and certainly its most prestigious.

One of the world's first garden cemeteries, and doyen of London's Magnificent Seven, Kensal Green received its first funeral in January 1833, and still conducts burials and cremations daily.

The cemetery was innovative in having most of the site consecrated by the Church of England, but reserving the eastern spur for Dissenters and others to practise their own rites. Today, people of many faiths and denominations are buried throughout the cemetery. Uniquely among British cemeteries, Kensal Green has been managed by the same private joint-stock company since its inception: the General Cemetery Company, (est. 1830) still has its offices by the Main Gate.

The cemetery now covers some 72 acres (29 hectares) between the Grand Union Canal and Harrow Road in west London, and is open to visitors every day of the year.


The Top Gate (just to the west of Kensal Green Underground Station) admits both cars and pedestrians during regular opening hours. This gate also leads to the independent Roman Catholic cemetery of St. Mary.

The Main Gate, to the east near the junction with Ladbroke Grove, is for pedestrians only, and generally closes an hour before the Top Gate.

The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery run regular Sunday tours - read more

The Friends of Kensal Green Cemetery also run regular events - read more

Latest News

Next Event: Charles Dickens and Friends: 19th century literary connections in Kensal Green Cemetery - A Walking Tour

Date: 10:30 08-Oct-22

Many of us step in the world of Victorian England through the books of the period’s most famous writers. Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray, Wilkie Collins and Anthony Trollope gave us timeless classics still popular today. Alongside literary luminaries there were many others who may not be so widely known nowadays, but were household names at the time, such as William Harrison Ainsworth and Thomas Mayne Reid.

They lived and worked at the time when Kensal Green became the country’s most prestigious cemetery, and they, along with their friends, rivals, colleagues and associates came to rest here (Charles Dickens wished to be buried in Kensal Green but was buried at Westminster Abbey instead). As we walk among the splendour of Kensal Green's early Victorian funerary architecture, we’ll learn about these writers' lives and times, their friendships and rivalries, and will come closer to the England of 150 years ago.

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October is London Month of the Dead

You can find out more here: Month of the Dead

New publication

Their Exits

We are pleased to announce the release of our latest publication. Written by Head Guide and historian of Kensal Green Cemetery, Henry Vivian-Neal, "St Helena at Kensal Green Cemetery" is a guide to the connections between the former Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and the island of St Helena at Kensal Green Cemetery in London.

£7.50 inc p&p - Purchase now

Volunteers needed

We would welcome new trustees who can assist us in promoting the cemetery and helping our work. We have two specific vacancies at present but if you can offer us other assistance, we would love to hear from you.

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