Abney Park Cemetery

Category: Famous cemeteries

Abney Park in Stoke Newington, north-east London, UK is a historic parkland originally laid out in the early 18th century by Lady Mary Abney and Dr. Isaac Watts, and the neighbouring Hartopp family. In 1840 it became a magnificent Victorian garden cemetery and arboretum, which was widely celebrated as an example of its time.

After the early 1880s, the arboretum fell into decline as the original founding enterprise gave way to a new, more commercial general cemetery company with business interets outside of Stoke Newington. Though never formalised as a cemetery through Act of Parliament or consecration, and Church faculty law never applied, burials came to predominate over the former preservationist and educational objects, particularly after the First World War when path infill began; a situation that continued until the 1970s when the company went into liquidation and the land was passed to the local council as a public park. Since that time, to a large extent, having no remaining burial rights and only occasional discretionary interments, nature has been allowed to take its course. The park is now a popular place to visit, with a range of educational, training and cultural events and an annual summer open day. It is a designated Local Nature Reserve and Conservation Area.


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