The little mortuary at St George in the East and its reincarnation as a museum

St George’s Gardens, the park on the site of the former churchyard of St George in the East in Stepney, is a neat, peaceful place – when I visited, the play area was full of children, and other people were relaxing on benches or looking at the old monuments near the church.  In the midst of all of this is a derelict building that looks terribly sad and out of place.  However, this forlorn little building has a fascinating history that includes that most infamous of East End criminals, Jack the Ripper, and later became a pioneering centre for the education of local children.

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The menagerist’s memorial: the story behind Abney Park’s marble lion

Among the trees and memorials of Abney Park cemetery in Stoke Newington, a huge white marble lion sleeps peacefully.  This beautiful tomb marks the final resting place of one of the great showmen from the turn of the 20th century, “The Animal King” Frank C Bostock.  By the time of his death in 1912, Frank’s wildly popular menageries had toured all over Europe and America.

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