We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“WOW, amazing & beautiful place!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cave Hill Cemetery

Cave Hill Cemetery
Ranked #6 of 168 things to do in Louisville
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Windsor, Canada
Level Contributor
201 reviews
69 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“WOW, amazing & beautiful place!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2011

Before going on vacation to Louisville, I had look up things about Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken since he was from here. Noticed that he was buired here, so we decided to check it out. It was free and almost like your in a whole other world, 10x bigger than I had even imagined!! What a wonderful place, the layout and grounds are well kept. The people are so friendly and it's something you have to see for yourself. We did not have a map, just a gps and drove around in circles for about 2 hours. We took some beautiful pictures of the statues, trees and saw some very old graves from the 1730 which we surely have not saw at home. The Fallen Solders area was beyond, phenomenal it took our breath away. That would have to be our favourite part. Something I'll always remember. The funny part is we forgot why we went in the first place to see Colonel Sanders but had a very enjoyable day anyways!!

Visited November 2011
1 Thank Picture_Perch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

485 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Berea, Ohio
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
“One of America's Loveliest Cemeteries!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 June 2011

Cave Hill Cemetery is a place of brilliant beauty, profound peace and natural splendor. Five lakes dot the tranquil, rolling acres--all fed by underground springs which empty into nearby Beargrass Creek.

From the moment we drove through the Victorian gate off Baxter Avenue we felt we had entered another realm. Gone was the somewhat grimy gas station across the street where we'd purchased bottles of water. Gone, too, the sounds of raucous music blasting from car radios. No blaring horns. No frenetic city beat. Instead, we were instantly enfolded in a tangible blanket of serenity and silence broken only by the twitter and chatter of birds. On either side of our vehicle, the lush emerald lawns stretched back to tall stands of evergreens. No monuments were yet in sight. It gave us the impression of approaching a grand English Estate of yesteryear...moving along an opulent drive which would soon open to a delicious display of man-made wonder married to natural beauty. And that is precisely what we encountered when we reached the terminus of the entry avenue. Having arrived at a three-pronged fork in the road, we were confronted by a breathtaking panoply of monumental art: women in elegant gowns clasped their breasts in gestures of grief. Stately angels spread muscular wings to shelter their ascending charges. Marble children stood, knelt or sat in attitudes of sorrow, wonder or resignation. Indeed, it is not hyperbole to state that everywhere we turned we were met with something truly awesome to behold.

A few notable examples follow:

The Tingley Fountain (Section E). This amazing tribute will be one of the first large memorials visitors who choose to follow the main road (designated by a solid white line) will encounter. Set back from the pavement and surrounded by lively plantings, the life-size iron figure of a woman rises from a fountain supported by the nude figures of a young boy and girl. To be sure, the Tingley memorial is far from ordinary. The water that spills into its triple basins has its origin in the fingertips of the aforementioned woman whose outstretched arms suggest benediction. Beautiful...yes...but there is undoubtedly something eerie about her. As far as we're concerned, that just makes her more attractive! A bronze plaque affixed to the front of the fountain bears this inscription:

In Memory Of
By Whom
This Fountain Was Bequeathed
For This Spot
Erected A.D. 1922

George H. Tingley -- Superintendent of
Louisville Public Schools 1863 - 1894.
A born leader and teacher of children
A fountain of living waters in the garden of youth.
Born Jan, 28, 1827. Died Dec. 26, 1906

William Tingley -- Himself a master
workman -- An inspiration to honest artificers.
Builder of wagons. Successful in business
and in useful living.
Born March 16, 1828. Died Dec. 26, 1914.

Unmarried both. "Lovely and pleasant in their lives, in death they were not divided.”


The Gothic Chapel of James F. Irvin (Section P, Lot D) beckons visitors to regard it from all angles. Reportedly a replica of a mausoleum in Pere Lachaise, the Irvin "chapel" is also notable for its prominent placement in an elegant cul-de-sac. Mr. Irvin's fortune, by the way, was made as a riverboat captain. In addition to his wealth, he earned a special place at Cave Hill owing to his membership on the Board.

Charles W. Gheens Mausoleum (Section 33, Lot 16). With a fortune made in wholesale grocery and real estate, the Gheens had a gothic mausoleum constructed to house their mortal remains. The building features elegant turrets, a slender, domed cupola and some of the most handsome landscaping we have ever had the privilege of seeing in a family plot.

Spotts Mausoleum (Section D. Lots 72 & 73). Commissioned by his wife (remembered only as "Mrs. Harry I. Spotts"), the marble monolith of the Spotts Mausoleum is truly one of the most striking memorials in all of Cave Hill. Spotts was a resident of Louisville and his employment was as a steamboat captain. Upon his death in 1866, his wife ordered the construction of a Moorish-style building to house his remains. With its three rounded front arches, graceful support columns, intricate crown work and commanding view of the nearby Satterwhite plot, the mausoleum (which stands on two lots) is a real attention-grabber. Wide stairs welcome visitors to draw close to the heavy doors and whisper a greeting to the captain and his family. This one is definitely worth a photograph or four!

Satterwhite Memorial a/k/a "The Temple of Love" (Section C). Easily the largest monument in Cave Hill, the scope of this memorial to one man's true love is utterly breathtaking. Preston Pope Satterwhite was a successful surgeon who, in his mid-40's was able to retire owing, in part, to his own wealth but mostly to the enormous fortune of his wife (Florence) whose former husband, a Standard Oil executive, died in an auto accident. The Satterwhites lived an extravagant lifestyle, spending the temperate part of the year in New York and the winter in Palm Beach. Sadly, Florence died in 1927, leaving Preston to face the remainder of his life alone. He purchased 26,343 sq. ft. of property in Section C (for a sum of $50,000--doubtless a fortune at the time) and commissioned architect Horace Trumbauer to design a fitting memorial to his love. In June of 1927 the tribute was unveiled. Modeled after the Temple of Love at Versailles, the domed structure takes its cue from the Roman Temple of Vesta.

Jeptha Barnard "Barney" Bright IV (Section 29, Reserve). One of Cave Hill's most sensuous monuments was sculpted by the very man whose memory it honours. Barney Bright was a famous Louisville sculptor whose work is in evidence on graves throughout the newer parts of Cave Hill. For his own grave, Mr. Bright rendered himself in bronze, nude, and lying pelvis-to-buttocks with an exquisite unclothed woman who appears quite youthful next to the aged man in whose arms she rests, eyes lidded and content, paying no heed to whatever it is the sculptor beside her is indicating with his outstretched right hand. The woman is most-likely the "Gayle" referred to on the stone's base, though no dates are given for her. His wife? Probably. This bronze is tastefully erotic and disarmingly lovely!

What else to say about Cave Hill? Well, George Keats, brother to English Romantic poet John Keats, is buried in Section O, Lot 73. A rustic cross marks his grave. "The Kentucky Giant" (Jim Porter) is buried in Section F, Lot. 439. His stone indicates he was 7' 8" though Porter claimed to be 7' 9." His body is actually entombed in the old Harrington vault as his original mausoleum, like many others on the hillside, collapsed and had to be torn down in the late 1800's. The simple stone marker is nondescript and half-obscured by grass and earth. A cemetery map would be most useful if you're looking for this one. Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame is also interred at Cave Hill.

The number of remarkable bronze, marble and granite sculptures is truly too great to detail and, in any case, words are grossly inadequate at doing justice to the beauty of each. Cave Hill demands personal interaction in order to gain the full effect and we cannot stress strongly enough our feeling that travelling any distance to reach this very special place would not disappoint cemetery lovers. If you do visit, keep in mind the fact that Spring Grove (yet another spectacular Victorian burying ground) is hardly more than two hours distant.

Visited May 2011
9 Thank Cemetery_Man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Cave Hill Cemetery? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing