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Grade II Listed Chapel in Abney Park Cemetery Reopened by the Mayor of Hackney

For years the Grade II listed chapel at Abney Park Cemetery has been hidden behind hoarding and closed to the public; too unsafe to use after a series of fires gutted the building. The roof was no longer watertight, timbers inside the building were slowly rotting, and there were concerns about the structure of the spire.

The chapel sits at the heart of Abney's historic cemetery landscape, one of London's 'Magnificent Seven' Victorian cemeteries. It was opened in 1840 to the designs of William Hosking, and is thought to be the oldest surviving non-denominational chapel in Europe.

Abney Park Chapel against a blue sky
Abney Park Chapel

Partnership work with Hackney Council brings the Chapel back to life

Given this importance, both locally and nationally, we're delighted to have helped fund a first phase of urgent works to the Grade II listed chapel, in partnership with Hackney Council. In recognition of this milestone, the project team were joined by the Mayor of Hackney at the opening event on Thursday 3 August.

Group of people cutting red ribbon at gated entrance to chapel
Official opening of Abney Park Chapel

Abney’s stories revealed

The repairs have saved the building from further decay and deterioration, and have helped to build momentum for future investment in the cemetery. But this project has been about so much more than bricks and mortar. It's about the stories and memories, both past and present, that are embodied within the chapel at Abney. Some of these stories are already well known - from William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, to James Braidwood, the first superintendent of the London Fire Brigade.

We hope that as the chapel is reopened to the public, and is used and loved once again, that many more of Abney's stories will be revealed and retold, and that new audiences will be introduced to the magic of Abney.

Do visit Abney to see the landscape and the chapel for yourself. Tours will take place at 2pm on the first Sunday of every month.

Visit Abney Park

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