Victorian Arcadia - The Victorian Garden Cemetery

Victorian mourning practices are famous for their dark beauty: elaborate mourning costumes, plumed horses drawing lacquered funerary carriages, and countless mourning ephemera housed in museums and private collections. However, one of the most enduring and culturally important aspects of Victorian mourning ritual was the creation of the garden cemetery.

These cemeteries were inspired by visions of Arcadia: “The tomb in the garden was a place where the living could weep moderate tears, recall the dead to mind, reflect, remember, and keep the departed ‘alive’ in some way in thought and spirit.” (Stevens Curl) Removing grief from the putrefying churchyards in the heart of London, to the beautiful outlying gardens of the ‘Magnificent Seven’, transformed the way Victorian Londoners interacted with their spaces of mourning.

For this evening lecture, we invite you to join cemetery historian Romany Reagan in the chapel to hear updates on the HLF-funded Abney Unearthed project, and learn about Victorian mourning practices through the history and social importance of the garden cemetery in Victorian culture.

For this evening lecture, we invite you to join cemetery historian Romany Reagan in the chapel to hear how these cemeteries were inspired by visions of Arcadia. Learn about Victorian mourning practices through this historical period, and the social importance of the garden cemetery in Victorian mourning culture.

Please arrive at the main gates on Stoke Newington High St at 6.30pm.


At 7pm guests will be invited into the chapel to view the Abney Unearthed project boards, and find a seat for a prompt 7:30pm start.

Note: The chapel is a partially rennovated structure. Please dress comfortably with the possibility of a chilly evening in mind, and warm yourself with a complimentary drink
.

Romany Reagan is a final-year PhD candidate at Royal Holloway, University of London. Her thesis centres around the layers of meaning that coexist within a cemetery space. By way of an audio walking practice, artistic interpretations of outdoor archive, nonhuman networks, and mourning practices are explored in Abney Park cemetery. Areas of research encompass: psychogeography, mourning practices, ‘The Good Death’, anachronistic space, heterotopias, gothic sensibility, liminal spaces, the uncanny, and the Victorian ‘Cult of the Dead’. Her walk ‘Crossing Paths/Different Worlds in Abney Park Cemetery’ was published in Ways to Wander (Triarchy Press, 2015) Website:https://abneyrambles.com/ Twitter: @msromany; @abneyrambles


Saturday 11 Nov,
7 pm - 8.30 pm
Entry from 6.30pm at the main gates
Stoke Newington High St

Tickets £11 / £9 conc
Complimentary warm drink included
Book here



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Park opening times

CLOSED 22 Nov due to adverse weather

Abney Park is open from 8 am year round and closes at varying times.
The current opening hours are 8 am – 4 pm daily.

 

 

The Visitors Centre

is usually open from
10am – 3pm,  
Monday to Friday,
though times vary
so please call before
making a special visit.

Contact Details

Abney Park, Stoke Newington High Street,
London N16 0LH

Tel: 0207 275 7557

info@abneypark.org