Plans are underway to transform and restore parts of the well loved Abney Park – the magnificent Victorian Cemetery in Hackney, London.
Abney Park covers 12.5 hectares and is one of the ‘Magnificent 7’ cemeteries in London. It is one of Hackney’s finest green spaces and a final resting place for around 200,000 people in approximately 60,000 graves, fourteen of which are listed. No longer a working cemetery, it is run by Hackney Council as one of London’s most central tranquil woodlands, home to a wide variety of invertebrates and fungi.
The Abney Park restoration project will take a holistic approach to conserving and developing all aspects of the Cemetery, its built and natural heritage and the experience of its users. Plans include:
Making the entrance on Stoke Newington High Street more accessible by adding a ramp
Restoring the chapel to allow it to host weddings, concerts and other events
Launching an extended programme of activities at the site
Building a new cafe and flexible community space at the Stoke Newington High Street entrance
As well as the memorials, Abney Park has a non-denominational funerary chapel and two Egyptian style lodges, all of which are in need of improvement. The Council hope that the proposals which expand the activities already taking place at the site will encourage more people to visit the site and engage with it.
The Council would like to invite feedback from residents on the proposals. The full plans are available athttps://hackney.gov.uk/abney-park. This information will help to put together a fundraising bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.
The Abney Park Restoration Project has been developed to revitalise the historic buildings on site, improve accessibility and create a vibrant programme of activities. Presently the park buildings are underused and in need of improvement. The plans will enhance its use and take it to the next chapter in its history whilst retaining its unique tranquil setting and as a haven for rare flora and fauna. Local people and those visiting from further afield will be able to fully engage with Abney Park and its heritage; be that as a nature reserve, a historic landscape, a place of remembrance or as a local Park.