The Old Church

Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington, London N16 9ES

London’s only surviving Elizabethan church now occupies an atmospheric little enclave adjoining Stoke Newington’s Clissold Park. Strictly speaking, this is the old church of St Mary’s, hence its more commonly used name, and serves as an adjunct to its 19th-century namesake immediately across Church Street. Among the first churches built specifically for Anglican use, it’s still used for worship, but also doubles as a performance venue, including for the Stoke Newington Early Music Festival. As befits its spooky, slightly overgrown churchyard, St Mary’s would have been familiar to Edgar Allan Poe, who was at school nearby in the early 19th century; several of his macabre tales were staged here in 2011.

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