Abney Park Trust has launched a fund to restore the much loved listed monument to Dr Isaac Watts. The aim is to raise £9,000 to clean up and restore the statue, plinth and surrounding railings, including replacing his missing right hand which was stolen.
Dr Watts is a famous nonconformist English Christian minister, theologian and wit. He was prolific hymn writer, poet, and notable man of logic with many quotes attributed to him. He is credited with writing some 750 psalms alone, the most famous still in use today, which has earned him the title”The Father of English Hymnody”. His hymns have been translated into many other languages which makes his appeal truly international.
Watts connection to Stoke Newington lasted much of his life, from studying at a Dissenting Academy for nonconformists at Newington Green, tutoring and living locally, to spending 36 years living in the household of Sir Thomas and Lady Mary Abney, mostly at Abney Park, until his death in 1748.
The monument erected in 1845 from public donations is grade 2 listed and was designed by Edward Hodges Bailey RA FRS, who also sculpted Lord Nelson atop Nelson’s Column. The proposed restoration will replace his right hand with a copy from an archived picture , important as it was the hand responsible for writing so much during his life. It will also clean the Portland stone statue and plinth, restore the inscription lettering, along with the surrounding iron railings.
So far we have raised over 25% of the total, with the help of guided tours, open days, an online auction and private donations. A big thank you to everyone who has helped us so far!
We will advertise upcoming fundraising events, but if you’d like to find out more about this work, support us, get involved or join our email list to get Abney updates, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call on 020 7275 7557 or pop into visitor’s centre and shop (by the main gates on Stoke Newington High Street).
For more information email email@example.com
Or call 020 7275 7557
Donate in the visitor’s centre
Donations can also be made online at The Big Give