Stoke Newington

Another in the  series on historic sites on the “Capital Ring” walk …

Stoke Newington  was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Neuton, meaning “new homestead or farmstead”.  It was recorded in 1274 as Neweton Stoken, and in 1294 as Stokene Neuton, the affix meaning “by the tree stumps”.

It may be described as having been part of  Inner London since the late seventeenth or eighteenth centuries.

Church of St Mary

The old church of St Mary was probably originally built in the Saxon period, the Domesday Book of 1086 referring to a Manor of Stoke Newington, the property of the Canons of St Paul’s, and reputedly the gift of King Athelstan, which presumably included a church.

It was probably rebuilt in the Medieval period, and certainly rebuilt in the post-Medieval, Elizabethan, by the Lord of the Manor, William Patten, in 1563, thus becoming  one of the earliest churches anywhere in the country specifically designed for Anglican rather than Catholic worship.

It has subsequently  been extended, by Sir Charles Barry (in 1829), and restored, following severe bomb damage sustained during the Second World War (in 1953).   It continues to function  as a church, and also as a community and arts space, staging such events as the Stoke Newington Early Music Festival (and, in 2011, atmospheric readings of the macabre tales of Edgar Allan Poe, who between 1817-20  attended the Reverend John Bransby’s Manor House School  nearby).

Old church from Clissold Park, with new church beyond

New church from Clissold Park

The nearby new   church, by Sir George Gilbert Scott, was consecrated in 1858.

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