Stoke Newington is an area occupying the north-west part of the London Borough of Hackney. The historic core on Church Street was the site of the hamlet of Stoke Newington which in turn gave its name to the Ancient Parish of Stoke Newington. Church Street retains the distinct London village character which led Nikolaus Pevsner to write that he found it hard to see the district as being in London at all, Stoke Newington is nicknamed Stokey by many residents. The modern London Borough of Hackney was formed by the merger of three former Metropolitan Boroughs, Hackney and the considerably smaller authorities of Stoke Newington and Shoreditch. These Metropolitan Boroughs had been in existence since 1899 but their names and boundaries were very closely based on much older ancient parishes dating back to the medieval period. As described the Metropolitan Borough largely adopted the Ancient Parishes boundaries, there were minor rationalisations but the major change to the area covered was the transfer of part of Hornsey. Stoke Newington northern and western boundaries have become the north-west borders of the modern London Borough, the eastern boundary was formed primarily by the A10 road where it goes by the name Stoke Newington High St and Stoke Newington Road, further south. -– Where that part of AP\MB of Hackney known as Dalston extends a short way over the A10 to meet Stoke Newington on a line along a road called ‘The Crossway’. The growth means that Stoke Newington is often associated with the N16 postcode, Stoke Newington is part of the Hackney North and Stoke Newington constituency which has been represented by Labour MP Diane Abbott since 1987. For a small district, Stoke Newington is endowed with an amount of open space. It was designed, by William Chadwell Mylne, to look like a towering Scottish castle and it is now a nature reserve, a role that it was in many ways intended for, as it was set up as an arboretum. Abney Park became scheduled in 2009 as one of Britains historic parks and gardens at risk from neglect, finally, across the high street to the east is the fragmented Stoke Newington Common, which has had an extensive and diverse programme of tree planting. From the 16th century onwards, Stoke Newington has played a prominent role in assuring a supply to sustain Londons rapid growth. Hugh Myddletons New River runs through the area and still makes a contribution to Londons water and it used to terminate at the New River Head in Finsbury, but since 1946 its main flow has ended at Stoke Newington reservoirs. The river bank, the New River Path, can be walked for some distance to the north through Haringey and on to its source near Hertford, Stoke Newington East and West Reservoirs, to the north of Clissold Park, are quite substantial for urban facilities. Stoke Newington Reservoirs were constructed in 1833 to purify the New River water, the West Reservoir is now a leisure facility, offering sailing, canoeing and other water sports, plus Royal Yachting Association-approved sailing courses. On its western edge stands the former house, now set out as a visitor centre with a café. Besides the water facilities and the New River, Clissold Park contains two large ornamental lakes, a home to many water birds and a population of terrapins
Image: Stoke newington town hall 2
The Castle Climbing Centre, once the main Water Board pumping station
The West reservoir, looking north.
Stoke Newington retains two parish churches. St Mary's Old Church (left) and New Church (right).