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Abney Park Cemetery - Questions for those who reside in London

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Abney Park Cemetery - Questions for those who reside in London

Old Feb 14th, 2010, 01:52 PM
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Abney Park Cemetery - Questions for those who reside in London

Any citizens of London around? I need some input... I'm fascinated by many of the cemeteries in London but Abney Park has a look to it that captures my attention even more than Highgate & Nunhead. I've tried to do some research but have not found any currently operating websites that give any information about the hours/days that it's open. Does anyone know when it's accessible? The Cemetery Trust website is currently a dead link. Did the Trust dissolve?

I've also come across some very conflicting reports about safety concerns in Abney Park. As a solo female traveler & photographer (meaning I'll have at least some of my gear with me) is it relatively safe to visit the cemetery early in the morning? If not, is there a time of day when the cemetery has a heavier concentration of visitors? Or is Abney Park like the cemeteries in New Orleans in that no one should go there alone?

If Abney Park isn't a smart choice which of the other Magnificent Seven has the most similar look? It doesn't matter to me who is buried at the cemeteries, so that isn't a concern, I'm solely concentrating on the look as I will be photographing whichever cemetery (or cemeteries) that I visit.
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Old Feb 14th, 2010, 09:41 PM
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My experience is a bit out of date.

It's now operated as a nature reserve, though I think it's accessible all the time. The only time there's any kind of concentration of visitors would be when a school party is being taken round on a project: the rest of the time, it's mostly used by people locally for dog walking, jogging etc - so it's really never got more than a few people.

It attracts a few homeless people, who from time to time leave a bit of a mess. They'll be a great deal more worried about you than you need to be about them. I've never comeb across a local woman who'd be particularly worried about walking or running through the area.

In my day, the biggest safety risk by day was tripping over tree roots ("nature reserve" means no twee housekeeping, and bits of the cemetery are more like the remoter parts of Angkor Wat than anything else): by night it was the undead rising from their graves.

HOWEVER, these things can change: we have a resident policeman on this board who'll probably give you more up to date advice.

The Trust than runs the place seems to be having manpower problems, but that doesn't mean the cemetery's inaccessible. Google "abneypark.ground-level.org", then click on "Cached" for their website as it was about 3 weeks ago.
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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Thank you for your input! I'm hoping the resident policeman on this board will notice this and give me their thoughts.
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 10:22 AM
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we have a resident policeman on this board who'll probably give you more up to date advice>>>

Who's never heard of it. Sorry.

Google tells me it's in Stokie (stoke Newington) which is one of the most mixed areas of london.

In general nowhere is that dangerous - outside the bloody obvious. Stokie is more iffy than most. I'd be happy to go there. Bits of Stokie are lovely.

In all honesty I'd be happy to go there but I suspect that Nunhead will walk all over it (Nunhead is also a nature reserve but is enthusiasticaly managed).

The best of the lot is Kensal Green. Go on the first sunday of the month when they take you into the catacombs - very very spooky).
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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Sorry, Kensal Green:

http://www.kensalgreen.co.uk/
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Old Feb 15th, 2010, 02:06 PM
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CW - You should check out the pictures of Abney Park (some are available here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/pool/) It has a delightfully overgrown quality to it which adds greatly to the atmospheric quality I'm looking to photograph. Cemeteries that have been too well maintained don't have as much charm, in my opinion.

As to the mixed crime reports, I've read everything from it being a safe place where families hang out to reports of satanic rituals taking place at night (recently, and I've seem some photographic evidence of this, including a decapitated pigs head left on a trail) and at least one person being attacked. I'm not one who is generally all that concerned about such things (I photograph Detroit and its abandoned buildings alone on a regular basis) but as I've never been to London I figure it can't hurt to be cautious and at least see if anyone has any first hand knowledge of the area.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 01:05 PM
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Abney Park is fine. It is busy on sunny weekends with people going for walks - even during the week, you'll find people just going for walks and school kids on nature trips. The bums tend to hang out by the High Road gates.

I live in the area and Stoke Newington Church Street is lively - and the park, which is on Church Street, gets a good deal of traffic.

I haven't heard about the pig's head or the satanic rituals. I have heard that it's a bit of a gay crusing ground at night.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 01:29 PM
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I've lived in stoke newington for years and abney cemetery is a wonderful place that I've spent many happy hours wandering around on my own. There's all sorts of interesting graves - it used to be an unconsecrated cemetery so lots of dissenters and alchemists are burried there as well as the founder of the st johns ambulance brigade, so you occasionally get st johns tourist group. Its very safe, the worst you are going to see are gay cruisers - I take my kids there, don't worry.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Whats this thing with gays and cemeteries...Brompton cemetery in London is full of cruisers.
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Old Feb 24th, 2010, 05:05 AM
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Abney Park is gorgeous and you wouldn't believe that you were in zone 2 in London.
I've been there a couple of times and never once felt threatened or uneasy. Both times were on a weekend afternoon.
But the amount of men 'cruising' the area is shocking to be honest. I was a little too innocent and only realised after being in there for an hour and then seeing two men come out from behind a headstone. Only THEN do you put two and two together and there are men on every 'corner'. So if the presence of men makes you feel safe, even better!
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