For one small district, Stoke Newington is endowed with a generous amount of open space. To its north, there is the extensive West Reservoir, now a non-working facility, but open for leisure and surrounded by greenspace, at the entrance to which is the architecturally bizarre Castle Climbing Centre, once the main Water Board pumping station. It was originally designed, by William Chadwell Mylne, to look like a towering Scottish castle, and is now much-loved in the area.
South of these facilities is Clissold Park, an extensive swathe of parkland complete with a small menagerie, aviary and Clissold Mansion, a Grade II listed building, built for Jonathan Hoare, a local Quaker and brother of Samuel Hoare, in the 1790s.
Tracking east from here and past the two Church of England parish churches, both called St Mary's (Stoke Newington strangely decided to retain the old one, unusual in a London parish), leads to Abney Park Cemetery, one of the most splendid and enlightened of Victorian London cemeteries. It is now a nature reserve, a role that it was in many ways originally intended for, as it was set up as an arboretum, but Abney Park became scheduled in 2009 as one of Britain's historic park and garden at risk from neglect and decay. Finally, across the high street to the east is the fragmented Stoke Newington Common. This, however, has its charms, largely due to the extensive and diverse programme of tree planting it has enjoyed in recent years.
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