Recorded in the Domesday Book, Stoke Newington was an important village by the C16th. The old medieval parish church of St Mary’s, also called the Ancient Mother Church, survives today, the building dating from 1563 and sympathetically restored in 1826-29. In the mid 1850s the congregation had grown, and a new, larger parish church was built on the site of the rectory garden, but the old church was preserved.
St Mary’s Churchyard has many distinguished late C18th tombs, and some fine trees. It was closed to burials following the Burial Grounds Act of 1854. Initially maintained by the Burial Board, the borough council took over responsibility in 1896. Across Church Street St Mary New Church is surrounded by a grassed area, with a war memorial.