I live near one of the oldest cemeteries in London. It is one of the Magnificent Seven, built in 1840, to cater for the over vastly over crowded, small, London Parish Church grave yards. It was the first non-denominational garden cemetery in London and was described as the Campo Santo of the English nonconformists. It's a strange and wonderful place, filled with rare birds and plants, dog walkers, weirdos and cruising gay men and continues to live up to the areas reputation for attracting dissidants.
I love to walk through the cemetery and watch the changing seasons in a way that's not usually possible in such an urban area of Hackney. It is quiet and serene and encourages contemplation. Wandering through the little secret pathways and reading the names and messages on the graves stones, conjures up all sorts of images of the lives of the people called Winnie, Albert, Queenie and Stanley.
When I read the wonderful Falling Angels but Tracey Chevalier, I imagined it to be set in this cemetery. If you are ever in Stoke Newington, come and visit one of London's secret simple pleasures.