The East End is known for its radical history, and Newington Green has been at the centre of events that have shaped the modern world. From gender equality to religious tolerance, there is a centuries-old tradition of non-conformism and fighting for rights here in Hackney. Everyone from American revolutionaries to the 'founder of modern feminism' has passed through a part of London that once housed a thriving alternative community whose universities rivaled Oxbridge. On this walk we'll bring to life some of the famous figures from Hackney's history and hear how their timeless calls for rights are as relevant as ever.
Meeting Point: Abney Park cemetry nature reserve (Church Street entrance: gates by Stoke Newington Fire Station, Church Street, N16 0AR)
End Point: Newington Green Unitarian Church, (39A Newington Green, Stoke Newington, London N16 9PR)
From the Dissenters' celebrated Abney Park cemetery nature reserve, we'll follow the radical path south, through Stoke Newington and into Newington Green, stopping at local landmarks to tell the story of Hackney's radical authors and history makers. Daniel Defoe and Mary Wollstonecraft are perhaps the most well known, but we'll see how many others have added their voices to the call for reform - or even revolution. The walk finishes at the remarkable Newington Green Unitarian Chapel, a non-religious church where four centuries of dissenters have challenged the status quo. Here you'll have the opportunity to make your own call to arms for a cause you hold dear and make your own protest poster.
Inspired by tales of world-changing figures like Mary Wollstonecraft - and all the other radicals and reformers who found a home around the borough - Hackney Tours has been celebrating their stories since 2012. Discover the past, to understand the present, to better shape the future.
Newington Green Unitarian Church has received initial funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a project to restore the building and run a programme of events and activities exploring the fascinating stories of people connected with the church. These include Mary Wollstonecraft the ‘Mother’ of contemporary British feminism, the minister Richard Price who advocated for civil rights and his friend Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the USA. We’ll be working with various partners to deliver a range of exciting events. To find out more follow @NGDissenters on Facebook and #NGDissenters on Twitter.
Please wear comfortable shoes and a rain coat should we not be so lucky with the weather.
All materials included and tea and coffee at the church.