Abney Park Chapel reopens to the public after huge renovation project
PUBLISHED: 14:24 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:33 15 August 2017
Sean Pollock Photographer
Abney Park Chapel has reopened to the public after a huge renovation project restored the 19th century Gothic mortuary to its former glory.
The chapel, in one of London’s “magnificent seven” cemeteries, was gutted by fire and vandalism in the 1980s and fell into disrepair.
But now a new roof has been installed by Hackney Council and Historic England, and the hoarding which has covered the building for four years has been taken down.
Mayor Phil Glanville said: “Our work to restore the chapel at the centre of the cemetery where radicals, anti-slavery campaigners and dissenters are buried, is a testament to our commitment to Hackney’s radical history.
“We hope as many people as possible come and immerse themselves in the fascinating history.”
Abney Park Chapel was designed by William Hosking and is the oldest surviving non-denominational chapel in Europe. It was completed in 1842 and functioned purely as a chapel for funerals – not a place of worship. The graveyard has featured in numerous music videos, most notably Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black.
Rebecca Barrett of Historic England said the reopening was a huge milestone and it had been on the organisations at risk register for 25 years.
Tours take place at 2pm on the first Sunday of every month and meet at the Stoke Newington High Street gates.