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Summer in Hackney

Explore summer in Hackney with our new map of playgrounds, pools, picnic areas, drinking fountains, walking routes and more:

Abney Park Cemetery

In the 70s, Abney Park Cemetery Company went into administration and abandoned the site. The park fell into disrepair and much of the infrastructure needs investment and development.

As well as the memorials, Abney Park has a chapel, catacombs, two lodges, a boundary wall and a network of paths, that all need various repairs. The restoration project will aim to conserve and develop all aspects of the park, its built and natural heritage and park users’ experience.

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback, please email us on parks@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 8428.

Abney Unearthed

We’ve already received £21,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a new project led by volunteers from the local community to research, map and learn about the people buried when the park operated as a commercial cemetery from 1840 to the late 1970s.

Abney Unearthed will tell the story of the park and how it reflects the changes that have taken place in Hackney and East London since the cemetery opened in 1840. The two year project will mean we finally know exactly who is buried in Abney and where their graves are.

Volunteer

If you’d like to volunteer as part of one of our projects, please email volunteering@abneypark.org.

History

Abney Park is one of Hackney’s finest green spaces and is listed as a Grade II park on Historic England’s register of parks and gardens of historic interest. As one of the ‘Magnificent 7’ cemeteries in London, it’s the resting place of around 200,000 people in 60,000 graves ranging from elaborate monuments to path-side common grave markers. It covers 12.5 hectares and is located between Stoke Newington Church Street and Stoke Newington High Street.

No longer a working cemetery, Abney Park is run as a park and is a site of metropolitan importance for biodiversity. It’s one of London’s most central woodlands and an important site for deadwood invertebrates and fungi.

The site was formed in 1840 from the estates of Fleetwood House and Abney House. Abney House had been the home of renowned non-conformist and hymn writer Isaac Watts, which led to Abney Park becoming the foremost burial ground for Dissenters – people who practised their religion outside the established church. It was founded on these principles, with a non-denominational chapel, and was open to all, regardless of their religion.

The cemetery was designated a local nature reserve in 1993 due to its value for people and wildlife. It’s also a metropolitan site of importance for nature conservation, meaning that it’s one of the most important nature sites in London. It’s home to an impressive collection of trees, as it was originally laid out around 1840 as an arboretum – a labelled tree collection.

Wildlife

There’s an abundance of wildlife in Abney Park Cemetery. A local amateur naturalist has produced some drawings of the birds and butterflies that are present there:

Abney Park Trust

The park was previously managed by Abney Park Trust, a charitable trust who leased the park from the Council between 1992 and 2015. They’re still closely involved in an educational and community capacity, and receive a Council grant to run activities at the site including workshops for both adults and children, guided walks and practical volunteering.

For more information on events and activities see Abney Park Trust.

Filming

Abney Park is a unique and atmospheric place and has provided a backdrop for films, music videos and other media. If you’d like to film in Abney Park please contact our film office.

Safety checks

The cemetery dates back to 1840 and there are a large number of memorials, some of which are very old and need to be inspected to make sure they’re safe. As the grave stones and memorials are inspected, some may need to be cordoned off or possibly laid flat. If you visit the cemetery please stay on the paths and observe the safety notices. Families of the deceased whose graves are affected will be informed where possible.

Barbecues

Barbecues are not allowed in Abney Park.

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Page updated on: 11 July 2019

Abney Park Cemetery

Address

South Lodge
Abney Park Cemetery
Stoke Newington High Street
N16 0LH

Telephone

Opening times

  • 8:00am
  • Closing Times:
  • 1 Jan to 13 Jan: 4.30pm
  • 14 Jan to 27 Jan: 5pm
  • 28 Jan to 10 Feb: 5.30pm
  • 11 Feb to 3 Mar: 6pm
  • 4 Mar to 17 Mar: 6.30pm
  • 18 Mar to 30 Mar: 7pm
  • 31 Mar to 7 Apr: 8pm
  • 8 Apr to 21 Apr: 8.30pm
  • 22 Apr to 12 May: 9pm
  • 13 May to 4 Aug: 9.30pm
  • 5 Aug to 18 Aug: 9pm
  • 19 Aug to 1 Sept: 8.30pm
  • 2 Sept to 15 Sept: 8pm
  • 16 Sept to 29 Sept: 7.30pm
  • 30 Sept to 13 Oct: 7pm
  • 14 Oct to 26 Oct: 6.30pm
  • 27 Oct to 24 Nov: 5pm
  • 25 Nov to 31 Dec: 4.30pm
  • Visitor centre open daily 10am-3pm except public holidays.