Ongoing projects at Abney Park
Give Isaac Watts a hand
Abney Park Trust has launched a fund to restore the much loved listed monument to Dr Isaac Watts. The aim is to raise £9,000 to clean up and restore the statue, plinth and surrounding railings, including replacing his missing right hand which was stolen.
Dr Watts is a famous nonconformist English Christian minister, theologian and wit. He was prolific hymn writer, poet, and notable man of logic with many quotes attributed to him. He is credited with writing some 750 psalms alone, the most famous still in use today, which has earned him the title "The Father of English Hymnody". His hymns have been translated into many other languages which makes his appeal truly international.
Watts connection to Stoke Newington lasted much of his life, from studying at a Dissenting Academy for nonconformists at Newington Green, tutoring and living locally, to spending 36 years living in the household of Sir Thomas and Lady Mary Abney, mostly at Abney Park, until his death in 1748.
The monument, erected in 1845 from public donations, is Grade II listed and was designed by Edward Hodges Bailey RA FRS, who also sculpted Lord Nelson atop Nelson's Column. The proposed restoration will replace his right hand with a copy from an archived picture. It is very important as it was the hand responsible for writing so much during his life. Funds raised will also clean the Portland stone statue and plinth, restore the inscription lettering, and restore the surrounding iron railings.
Abney Unearthed - is an exciting 2 year funded project working with volunteers to re-map the cemetery, and through research, tell the stories of those buried here.
This fascinating and very exciting project will culminate in an online digital plot map of Abney Park and a searchable database. This project is extremely important as it will reinstate the burial information lost through illegible maps or damaged records. Volunteers are needed to map the cemetery, discover those interred within and uncover their stories through research.
If you are interested in volunteering contact firstname.lastname@example.org