West Hackney burial ground to get £700,000 revamp

West Hackney Recreation Ground
Image caption The project is expected to be completed in late 2014

A 200-year-old former burial ground in north London is to be transformed as part of a £700,000 scheme.

The Heritage Lottery Fund grant will pay for new seating, planting and restoring gravestones at West Hackney Recreation Ground.

Headstones were moved aside when the graveyard was closed after a council took up ownership of the site in 1885.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2014.

'Fascinating history'

West Hackney Recreation Ground began its life as a 19th Century burial ground attached to St Paul's West Hackney Church.

The church opened in 1823 but was rebuilt in 1960 after the building was bombed in World War II.

Hackney Council's Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture Jonathan McShane said: "West Hackney Recreation Ground has a fascinating history, typical of many old London burial grounds, that is intrinsically linked to the local community over almost 200 years.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the transformation which will see new woodland planted and original pathways restored."

Reverend Niall Weir, Rector of St Paul's West Hackney, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious grant and have no doubt that this will not only transform the physical appearance of the recreation ground and St Paul's Churchyard, but that it will also create a wonderful focus and facility for the people of West Hackney."

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