Hackney Council has received £21,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting project, Abney Unearthed.
Led by volunteers from the local community, the project focuses on the 200,000 people buried in Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington. Abney Park, one of London’s Magnificent Seven cemeteries, operated as a commercial cemetery from 1840 to the late 1970s but following a period when the site fell into disrepair, some of the records of those buried at Abney Park are missing or illegible.
Abney Unearthed is a project that will work with volunteers to research, remap and learn about those buried at Abney Park. By collating all existing knowledge and then filling in the gaps, Abney Unearthed will tell the story of Abney Park and how it reflects the changes that have taken place in Hackney and East London since the cemetery opened in 1840.
This two year project aims to uncover names not previously known and generate interest in the site as the story of Abney Park unfolds. Ultimately, Abney Unearthed will make a lasting difference to the site – a legacy of a digitally mapped and fully searchable cemetery that allows anyone, anywhere in the world, to explore Abney Park.
Those interested in volunteering as part of Abney Unearthed should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Transport and Parks, said:
“Abney Park is a much loved green space and Abney Unearthed will engage volunteers to help us learn more about its fascinating history. This project will uncover some of the thousands of stories surrounding those buried at Abney Park and encourage more people to visit this hidden gem.”
Stuart Hobley, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund London, said:
“It’s fantastic that we can use money raised by National Lottery players to help local people uncover the forgotten history of Abney Park that is quite literally, beneath their feet. With HLF support, Hackney Council will be able to make the stories of this East London community over 130 years accessible to everyone.”
The Council is currently seeking the views of park users and Hackney residents on what works well at Abney Park Cemetery, what improvements could be made, and how to attract more visitors. Find out more and complete the survey atwww.hackney.gov.uk/abney-park.