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Hackney
Key:  Current observations and notes   Holmes (1897)     Other sources    Maps

 

All grounds are shown on 19th Century O.S.  Rocque and Horwood did not cover Hackney.  
Additional notes by Brian Firth. Photographs courtesy of Robert Bard. 

St. John at Hackney Churchard. 6 acres.
New Church built 1792-7. 
.  It was walled  in 1707, and treed in1797. Closed for burials in 1859. The current layout mostly dates from 1893.It is a large and varied ground. Most of the east flank is railed off , enclosing table tombs cleared from the rest of the ground, and a matching but smaller area is on the west. The ground is big enough to have a road inside, bordered by the tombs. In front of the entrance is a curved shrub-enclosed park with a central cenotaph. To the south is a walled garden built in 1964, full of bright ideas, but tatty now.   South of the walled garden is an expanse of grass, and finally a 7-deep row of headstones along the flanking wall. East and west are shady, with planes, limes and cherries.  A wide flagged path runs across from St Augustine ’s Tower and the Bank on the site of the vicarage to the handsome Sutton Place. There is a lot of interest here: and a fair amount of mess, including an abandoned car
.
This includes an older ground, attached to the original church of  St. Augustine, of which the tower still remains. Part of the churchyard is laid out as a public garden, and is neatly kept by the Hackney District Board of Works, but the newer part to the south of the church is still full of tombstones and rather untidy grass. The newest part of all, 'the poor ground,' which is at the extreme southern end, is laid out for the use of children. (Holmes)


West Hackney Churchyard, Stoke Newington Road.
The church of St Paul , built in the 1820s, was bombed, and has a modern replacement
.
Nearly 1½ acres. this was consecrated in 1814, and laid out as a public garden in 1885. It is maintained by the Hackney District Board of Works. (Holmes)

St. Barnabas's Churchyard, Homerton.
The church was built in the 1840s, which makes it very late for a church with a burial ground. The area is entirely grassed, with a couple of simple graves only. There was a burial as late as 1968.  Walls and railing survive.
¾ acre. This ground is not open, but a good deal of care is shown in its management. In 1884 the Easter offerings were devoted to its improvement, and many tombstones were then laid flat.
(Holmes)

St. John of Jerusalem Churchyard, South Hackney. 
A harmonious space, in pleasant surroundings; railed paths cross the ground. Grass and towering trees. A few monuments give evidence of past prosperity
Holmes (below) is not correct: built 1806, consecrated 1810, became a rectory in 1831.
About ¾ acre. This was consecrated in 1831. It is full of tombstones, and the grass is not well kept, but it is usually open for people to pass through. It was closed for burials in 1868.
(Holmes)


Well Street Burial-ground. 
A long thin park, attractively placed, with decent flats to the east, and the pathway of St Thomas ’ Place running north from Wells St on the west. The St Thomas ’ Place houses are of 1859, and well kept, replacing some of 1807.There are the usual planes, and some decent modern railings. A couple of tombs at the south, near the cleared away site of the chapel. Locals park their cars here!
This contains the site of the original South Hackney Church. It was laid out as a public garden in 1885, and is very neatly kept by the Hackney District Board of Works. Nearly ¾ acre.
(Holmes)

Independent Chapel-ground, Mare Street  (St Thomas's Burial Ground)
Burials 1812 - 1876
The entrance from St Thomas’ Place remains, but the main gate, a high pedimented portico, is in Mare St . A narrow entry path opens into a pleasant rectangle, with a variety of surrounding buildings: St John Theologos church, Cordwainers’ School,etc. There are table tombs, headstones at the walls, and moderately overgrown flowerbeds. The shelter is a minimalist Tudor oddity. There is one ravaged early 19thc mausoleum.
Also called St. Thomas' Square Burial-ground. ⅔ acre. Laid out in 1888, and maintained by the Hackney District Board of Works, who paid £100 for a passage to join this ground with the next, one caretaker managing both of them. It is very bright and neat. The ornamental shelter occupies the site of a previous building.
(Holmes)


Baptist Chapel-ground, Mare Street.
The site has gone, along with some of the surrounding streets, The chapel was on the site of 153 Mare St . It and the burial-ground are under a coachworks.
About 500 square yards at the back of the chapel. There are several tombstones tumbling about, and the ground is very untidy.
(Holmes)

New Gravel Pit Chapel-ground, Chatham Place
The west half of the site has gone, replaced by flats and a playground. The eastern half, fronting Mead St
reet, remains full of tombs and overgrown. Ornamental panels, designed by local children, and commemorating some of those buried here, the local pastor, etc. rail it off from Mead St . It is an intriguing space, locked off because of vandalism etc.
Attached to the Unitarian Church.- ¾ acre. This is full of tombstones and fairly tidy. The gate is usually open, the chapel-keeper living behind the chapel, and having a green-house and fowl-house, &c., in the ground.
(Holmes)


Retreat Place.
It was a narrow strip running along Retreat Place , from the corner with Mead Rd. It has gone, partly under flats. Much is not actually built on but that is just because of setting back building lines and  paths
. 
A garden in front of 12 almshouses, founded in 1811. "for the widows of Dissenting ministers professing Calvinistic doctrines." Samuel Robinson, the founder, and his wife, are buried in the middle of the garden.
(Holmes)

Jewish Burial-ground, Grove Street. 
Grove Street is now  Lauriston Rd. tall walls on three sides, with gates, lower walls and decorative railings to Lauriston Rd. Closed, but not overcrowded in appearance, and mildly picturesque, with more substantial tombs gathered at the centre
2¼ acres. This belongs to the United Synagogue, and was purchased in 1788. It is closed and full of erect tombstones, and has some trees and flower-beds near the entrance.
(Holmes)

Vaults
St Peter's, De Beauvoir Town
Built 1840-41 With vaults beneath. (Basil Clarke, Parish Churches of London.)


Possible church burials or vaults.

St Thomas's, Stamford Hill.
First building on the site was private Anglican chapel built 1774. Enlarged 1827, rebuilt 1873, bombed in the war and replaced with a modern building.

St James Lower Clapton.
Built 1840 - 41. Rebuilt 1902.

St Paul's West Hackney (Originally St James's.)
Built 1821 - 24.Bombed - present church built 1958/9.

Click here for a note on church and vault burials.