Stoke Newington and Southwark

Tigger had a day off today so we made a lazy start and then set out for a wander. First was breakfast and as it is right next to the bus stop for the next stage of the journey, we went to Giraffe and flashed our breakfast club card at them.

Essex Road
Looking along Essex Road past Giraffe

We then caught a bus and set off. I didn’t at this stage know where we were going but I did notice when we reached Hackney, which we had visited on Saturday. Our destination was indeed within the Borough of Hackney.

We got off the bus in Stoke Newington Church Street and the first place we went into was this:

Graveyard
Yes, a graveyard!

At first sight it appears to be an abandoned cemetery, a place where Goths and other folk with funerary interests would feel at home, so to speak. A couple more photos will help to give you an impression of the place.

I'm an angel...
I’m an angel, get me out of here!

I felt rather sorry for this angel with the creepers clinging to it and holding it down. The one on the right is in an even sorrier state.

In the next photo, spot the famous name:

City of the Dead
City of the Dead

The grave with the shield-shaped stone is that of William Booth (1829-1912), the founder of the Salvation Army.

I wrote above that this appears at first sight to be an overgrown cemetery. It was opened in the early 18th century as a non-denominational “garden cemetery”. Today, it is known as Abney Park Nature Reserve and Architectural Conservation Area. Not at all an overgrown cemetery, then!

Paths to wander
Paths to wander

There are paths to wander and benches to sit on and I imagine it is quite a pleasant spot on a warm and sunny day. Most of the tombs are old and in a state of disrepair but I noted some that had been tidied up and decorated with fresh flowers.

We now went for a walk along Stoke Newington Church Street. This area is associated with, among others, Daniel Defoe, author of  Robinson Crusoe and Moll Flanders. On the corner of Bouverie Road, you will see a pub called “The Daniel Defoe” but it wasn’t the great man’s local, being previously known as “The Clarence”.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49) attended the now disappeared Manor House School nearby from 1817 to 1820.

One of the more intriguing things we spotted was this window, or rather, the business within.

Tin-Tone
Tin-Tone Sonic Fascinators

This interesting business, Tin-Tone Musical Fascinators, is best described by their own Web site, so I will leave you to read it for yourself.

Further along was this rather more traditional maker of musical instruments, Bridgewood and Nietzert.

Bridgewood and Nietzert
Bridgewood and Nietzert

Like most old urban areas, businesses have come and gone, often leaving intriguing traces of themselves. Consider for example, this florist’s occupying a building that once belonged to Walkers’ fountain pen repairers. The disappearance of this business no doubt parallels the demise of the fountain pen in favour of ball points and felt tips.

Fountain pens have given way to flowers
Fountain pens have given way to flowers

After a cup of tea in this pleasant tea room,

Tea Rooms
Pleasant tea rooms

we walked along Stoke Newington High Road. I have to say I found this an awful and depressing place and couldn’t wait to get away from it. Consequently, I didn’t take a single photograph. It was with some relief that we boarded a bus and headed down to the South Bank.

St Paul's and the Millennium Bridge
St Paul’s and the Millennium Bridge

The Millennium Bridge is just one of the bridges across the Thames in this area.

How many bridges can you see?
How many bridges can you see?

We had coffee in the cafe at the Tate Modern (it had taken us a while to get there) and walked along to Bankside. As in the rest of London, there are building works going on here.

London continually evolves
London continually evolves

Darkness was beginning to fall and we felt it was time to go home. I am always attracted by lights and the city presents an engaging sight after nightfall.

Illuminated walkway
Illuminated walkway

This illuminated walkway in Bankside was inviting but we turned resolutely away and walked to the bus stop and came home where the slow cooker had done its job and supper was waiting.

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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2 Responses to Stoke Newington and Southwark

  1. Sam Roberts says:

    Good to see you caught the Fount Pens ghostsign, a shame that you didn’t indulge the High Street a bit more as there are a few to see along there too. Within the research for my walking tours I’ve been able to date the Fount Pens sign to 1924-29 which is quite an accurate window relative to others I’ve attempted to pin down. (More ghostsigns at http://www.ghostsigns.co.uk)

    • SilverTiger says:

      Thanks for the date information on Fount Pens. London has ghost signs everywhere, though many are of course nearly illegible. To be honest, I am not much interested in ghost signs per se, just those those that I discover en route that interest me for some reason, perhaps because they hint and the earlier history of the the premises or the area.

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