Abney Park

I’ve mentioned a trip I made to Highgate Cemetery before. It was one of the Magnificent Seven, a group of privately run cemetery’s that ringed what was, at the time, London. They were set up because the inner London burial sites were filling up and the dead bodies in the middle of a dense city were causing health problems. The British of the 19th century loved their burials and business in these new cemetery’s was good. As the Victorian fascination with death gave way to more of an interest in things like cremation, they ran into trouble. First they cut back on landscaping and maintenance and eventually, they shut down. Today, I checked out Abney Park, which is one of the other shuttered cemetery. Unlike Highgate, this one was taken over by the local council (Hackney) relatively early, although they didn’t do anything with it to keep it from becoming overgrown. However, it has recently done quite a lot to turn it into public park space. So, unlike Highgate, you can easily just go in and take a stroll around and take in all the impressive sights to see. And, it’s only about a 20 minute walk from my flat. Here would be some highlights:


I think this gives a good impression of the state of things in this burial site. It’s been overrun by this lush greenery which makes it pretty cool looking and feels very relaxing, especially since it’s surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Stoke Newington.


There’s something about the way these graves have all lilted in various directions that I liked.


A unique part of this cemetery is the remains of this old church right in the middle of it. You might notice the supports holding it together as it’s in very bad shape. You’ll also notice the beautiful blue sky today (I was not even wearing a coat). 😛


This is the interior of the church. I love how, in the middle of London (this isn’t the very center of the city, but it’s still central London), you can have this wonderful piece of history and greenery and have buildings like this as a reminder of how old everything is around here. Hackney has done a great job of keeping this space a beautiful combination of history and park space while respecting the fact that’s thousands of people’s final resting place is right here.

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