|St Barnabas Churchyard, Homerton||Hackney|
By the mid C18th there were a number of large houses in the area and St Barnabas was consecrated in 1847 when the population of the former hamlet of Homerton was increasing. Its site had been that of a coach-house, stabling, and two paddocks. The church was built largely at the instigation of the Hackney Phalanx, an Anglican group who were instrumental in building churches and schools in Hackney. The churchyard is largely grassed and contains a number of headstones, with a war memorial in front of the church.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2014
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Homerton was formerly Hunburh's farm (Old English for farm being 'tun'), which was part of the Manor of Lordshold in the ownership of the Knights Templar and then in the C14th the Knights of St John of Jerusalem. Homerton's church of St Barnabas was built when the population of the former hamlet was increasing, on a site which in 1845 had a 'coach-house and stabling, and two pretty square paddocks' owned by a coach proprietor called Brostow who had two stage coaches 'painted green' (Benjamin Clarke) running between Homerton and the Royal Exchange. Rocque's map of 1745 showed a number of large mansions here with 'leafy avenues, parterres, groves and gardens' (Clarke). The church was designed by Arthur Ashpitel whose father lived in Clapton Square (q.v.) and was built largely at the instigation of Joshua Watkins, brother of the Archdeacon of St Albans and Rector of Hackney, the Rev. John James Watson, whose parents lived in Homerton. Both brothers were part of the Hackney Phalanx, an Anglican group who were instrumental in building churches and schools in Hackney. The church has a tower of Kentish ragstone in late mediaeval style, and is an early example of the trend at that time to replace brick with stone for church building and providing solid towers. Consecrated in 1847 St Barnabas already needed enlarging in 1852 when the north aisle was built. In the C20th the church suffered war damage and was repaired by W C Lock.
The churchyard is largely grassed and contains a number of headstones, mainly cleared to the area behind the church, although some tombs are under shrubbery. Writing in 1896, Mrs Basil Holmes remarked that 'a good deal of care is shown in its management' and that 'in 1884 the Easter offerings were devoted to its improvement, and many tombstones were then laid flat'/. In front of the church is a war memorial with two crosses on plinths. The C19th forecourt wall to the churchyard and vicarage remains, of coursed rubble of Kentish ragstone and later concrete coping, with at intervals square piers with ashlar quoins and pyramidal tops.
Bridget Cherry and Nikolaus Pevsner, London 4: North (1998); Ben Weinreb & Christopher Hibbert, 'The London Encyclopaedia' (Macmillan, revised ed. 1993); Mrs Basil Holmes 'The London Burial Grounds', London 1896; Benjamin Clarke, 'Glimpses of Ancient Hackney and Stoke Newington' (first published 1892/93; new edition published by LB Hackney/Hackney Society, 1986); David Mander, 'Strength in the Tower, an Illustrated History of Hackney' (Sutton) 1998.