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STOKE NEWINGTON
Description and History from 1868 Gazetteer

STOKE NEWINGTON, a parish, and extensive suburban district of the metropolis, in the Finsbury division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county Middlesex, 3 miles N. by E. of St. Paul's, and 3 N. of Shoreditch church. At Newington-road is a station on the North London railway. The village, which is of considerable antiquity, being mentioned in Domesday Survey, is no longer confined to its own parish of St. Mary, but extends into the adjoining parishes of West Hackney, Hornsey, and Islington.

It stands on the main road from the metropolis to Cambridge, and is bounded on the S. side, adjoining London, by the Kingsland-road and Shacklewell-lane; on the E. by Hackney brook, which separates it from Upper Clapton; on the N. and N.W. by the inner line of Abney Park Cemetery, where it adjoins Stamford Hill, and the Seven-Sisters-road, including the far-famed Manor House tavern, in the Green Lanes, which bound it on the W., until it reaches Stoke Newington Green, when it follows the line of the Newington-road to Ball's Pond, and thence E. to the Kingsland-road. The original village consisted principally of one long street extending from Kingsland-road to Stamford Hill; but within the last quarter of a century it has been increased by new lines of houses and villas erected in Park-street, Albion-road, Church-street, and other parts. The streets are paved, and lighted with gas, and the inhabitants are supplied with water from the New River, which pursues a serpentine course through the parish, and has here a large reservoir, with a steam-engine for forcing the water to the tops of the houses. Near the church is a walk between trees, called Queen Elizabeth's walk; and on the N. side of Church-street is the brick gateway of the old manor house, with its pointed arch. Part of the land not built upon is laid out as extensive nursery gardens; but the trade of the place depends on the resident population, and its situation as a great thoroughfare. The Abney Park Cemetery is situated to the N. of Church-street, and to the W. of the principal thoroughfare, in that part of the parish which adjoins Stamford Hill. It was, previously to being converted into a cemetery, the seat of Sir Thomas Abney, the friend of Dr. Watts, who wrote many of his sacred songs in an arbour, now fallen to decay, but the site of which is still railed off. The parish comprises also Highbury New Park, and part of Stoke Newington Common, as well as the much frequented grounds of the Manor House tavern. It is returned in the census of 1861 as comprising 650 acres, and having a population of 6,607. It is included within the jurisdiction of the Central Criminal Court, and in the metropolitan N. postal district. Courts leet and baron for the manor are held annually. The manorial estate, which has belonged to the cathedral of St. Paul's since the Saxon times, is now administered by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, but still confers on the Rector of St. Mary's the title of prebendary or honorary canon of St. Paul's. The living is a rectory* in the diocese of London, value 820, in the patronage of the bishop. The ancient parish church of St. Mary, standing on the N. side of Church-street, was rebuilt by William Patten in 1563, and considerably enlarged by Sir Charles Barry in the present century, who added a spire to the old tower. It was, however, found inadequate to meet the increased demand for church accommodation; and in 1858 a new and magnificent structure was erected on the S. side of Church-street, immediately facing the old building, in which divine service is still performed, though the new St. Mary's is now considered the parish church. There is also the district church of St. Matthias, the living of which is a perpetual curacy,* value 265. There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, Unitarians, and Society of Friends, the last being a modern building; also almshouses for ten widows, founded and endowed under the will of Michael Yoakley in 1835. There are National, denominational, and Sunday schools in connection with the several places of worship. Many illustrious persons have resided here, as Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and Edward Vere, Earl of Oxford, in the reign of Elizabeth; the republican general Fleetwood; Daniel Defoe, author of "Robinson Crusoe;" Adam Anderson, author of "History of Commerce;" Thomas Day, of "Sandford and Merton" and other popular productions; Howard, the philanthropist, who was born in the adjoining parish of Hackney, and died here in November, 1748; Dr. Watts, the divine and poet; Dr. Aikin, compiler of the General Biography; and his sister, Mrs. Barbauld.

[Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson 2003]
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[Last updated on 9 Oct 2003 by David Hawgood. 2003]