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Abney Park Cemetery extends over some 32 acres on a north-facing slope running down from
an ancient ridgeway track-now Stoke Newington Church Street-to the course of the Hackey Brook, a stream
which originally ran from two sources in Holloway to the River Lea in central Hackney.
In the early part of the nineteenth century the population of London began to grow, and the
built-up area extended in all directions from from the ancient foundations of the City and Westminster.
The tiny church burial grounds could no longer cope, and several commercial cemetery companies opened
large new burial grounds in a ring a few miles from old London. The Abney Park Cemetery Company opened
its first venture-Abney Park-in May 1840
Abney Park was unusual at the time in that it was expressly a place for Non-Conformists
(ie persons who rejected the ceremonial and liturgy of the Church of England, instead worshipping in
Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalists, Wesleyan and other chapels; the Quakers and Salvationists are
similar groups), many of whom lived in the area.
This website has been primarily developed in order to allow the public to access the wealth
of family history data that a cemetery of this size obviously possesses. To date, very few cemeteries of
this size and age have made such data available to the public – we hope this will change in the future.
This site can aid family research by more than just providing names and dates from grave
stones, it can also put you in touch with other people who are interested in the same graves as the ones
you are looking at. This may be a distant family member or a student writing a thesis, both can leave
an email address or website link as well as a comment on graves of mutual interest. For this reason, some
of the more advanced features require registration.