Inventory Site Record

Quaker Burial Ground (Hackney)

Brief Description

A strong Quaker community grew up in Stoke Newington from the late C17th. In 1827 it was decided to build the Friends Meeting House in Park Street, now called Yoakley Road, and it opened in 1828. The Quaker Burial Ground was established in 1827, was enlarged in 1849 and continued to be in use until 1957. Most of the site was sold to the local Council in 1955 and the Meeting House was replaced by a smaller building, but closed as a Quaker Meeting House in 1966. The north part of the former burial ground was converted into a small public garden, the tombstones stacked against the boundary walls around a central lawn in which are planted five Irish yews.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Yoakley Road Memorial Gardens
Site location:
Yoakley Road
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Public Gardens
Open to public?
Opening times:
Special conditions:
Public transport:
Rail: Stoke Newington. Bus: 73.
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.hackney.gov.uk

Full Site Description

From the late C17th there was a strong Quaker community in Stoke Newington who held their meetings in the City of London until 1698 and then established a regular fortnightly meeting in the Stoke Newington house of gardener Robert Walburton, although numbers dwindled and the house they met in became a parish workhouse. However, in the C18th and C19th the community was flourishing with a number of wealthy and influential inter-connected families living in Stoke Newington, with strong interests in philosophical and political issues, including the anti-slavery campaigners Samuel Hoare (d.1796) and his son Jonathan Hoare. The family lived in Paradise House, the largest house in Paradise Row, which fronted onto the New River, and was near where Clissold Park (q.v.) now is. In 1827 the decision was taken to build the Friends Meeting House in Park Street, now called Yoakley Road. The Meeting House was built in 1828 by William Alderson and seated 385 people, a classical style building with 3 bays with an open portico in brick and plaster, which was later enlarged in 1860.

The burial ground was opened in 1827, and enlarged in 1849; it continued to be used up until 1957. Writing in 1896, Mrs Basil Holmes described it as 'neatly kept, but not open to the public'. However most of the site was sold to the local Council in 1955 and the Meeting House building was demolished and replaced by a smaller brick building, which was in turn closed as a Quaker Meeting House in 1966. It was thereupon used by the Seventh Day Adventists from Holloway who bought the building in 1968, and continue to use it. The former Quaker Burial Ground is in two parts, the area to the north now a public garden. This small area of garden is accessed up a flight of steps behind Lister Court housing block, where a jagged path made up of concrete goes through the central lawn in which are planted five Irish yews, with some mature trees along the perimeter. Uniform tombstones are stacked against the boundary brick walls surrounding the site, which are topped with high chain link fencing along the west side. The remainder of the former burial ground to the south is behind the former Meeting House and appears to be no longer accessible.

Near the burial ground, on Yoakley Road, is Levy Memorial Ground, named after former Hackney Councillor, Morry Levy. It is mostly paved, with a few benches and new raised beds for food growing as part of a project by Transition Town Stoke Newington. A snake bark maple was planted here in 2001, when it was threatened with closure.

Sources consulted:

Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998); Arthur Mee 'The King's England: London North of the Thames except the City and Westminster' (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 1972); Victoria County History; Mrs Basil Holmes 'The London Burial Grounds', (London, 1896)

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ331866 (533112,186710)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
LB Hackney
Site management:
Parks Service
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Open Space

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