By Jane Guidera
The last two centuries have seen the emergence of both public and private community centers and societies in Highgate Village. These groups have served to better the minds of Highgate’s residents through classes, clubs, guest lecturers, and festivals, but have simultaneously reckoned with the recent influx of the “nouveau-riche” into London’s suburb upon a hill. Combining the resources and efforts of the Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution, Highgate Society, and the Lauderdale House in joint projects like Highgate’s Heritage Fair encourage Highgate’s newer and possibly estranged residents to realize there is more to the village than its fresh air, posh Georgian real estate, and breathtaking views of central London. “Plan for the future on the past,” Highgate Society’s first president, Yehudi Menuhin, once advised (“‘Plan Future on Past’-Menuhin,”). “This recommendation is as pertinent—if not more so—as it was in 1972. The work of Highgate’s societies and institutions, especially their use of history, has awarded the town the bittersweet title of “the last living village.” (Martin)
Follow this link to see a full-screen timeline on Highgate’s historical societies.
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Trackman, Susan. Interview by author. March 5, 2020.