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A similar criticism had previously been made when the first Egyptian-style entrance to a western cemetery had been constructed at Mount Auburn Cemetery in the 1830s, on which Abney Park Cemetery was partially modelled.
By contrast, figures who appreciated the composition complimented Hosking and Bonomi on their scholarly frontage design; an arbiter of design taste, John Loudon, described it as a "judicious combination of two lodges with gates between".
It occupies 12.53 hectares (31.0 acres), which includes a nature reserve, a classroom, a visitor's centre and a central chapel which is disused.
The park lies within the London Borough of Hackney.
Eventually sold on the open market to a wholly commercially minded general cemetery company in the 1880s, established with a similar name, three new cemeteries were founded in London's suburbs or nearby countryside.
From then onwards standardised park-like landscaping principles came to be applied at Abney Park, replacing much of the unique arboretum planting.
Details of the Abney Park Cemetery Company can be found in the diaries of William Copeland Astbury (volumes covering 1831–48).
In 1840, Abney Park opened as a model garden cemetery, a pioneering non-denominational place of rest.
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In 1978, apart from one forecourt building, the park passed to the local council as a burial ground and open space subject to the Local Authorities Cemeteries Order of 1977.