Interesting to view at full resolution. Notice the new (now demolished) church being built in the background. Given that the new church was consecrated in 1889, it may be that the date I was given for this photo is wrong and it might be c1888 (see information in my comment below).
For more on Scamell see this post.
There have been three St Mary's Churches in Hornsey. The first dated from the end of the thirteenth century with a tower added in around 1500.
There's another view of the original church here.
2. The main part of the original old church being demolished in 1832
By the start of the nineteenth century, the church was considered to be too small and awkwardly configured. So, all but the tower was knocked down and rebuilt (as shown in the main photo). With the rapid development of the area, by the 1880s even the enlarged church was thought to be too small and a completely new church building was erected just to the east of the old one. This was opened in 1889. The following article, reporting on the consecration of that church, tells the story thus far quite well.
Hackney and Kingsland Gazette, 4 November 1889
In 1893, the churchyard of the old church was closed to burials. I assume that it was around this time that the Council agreed to take over its care.
London Evening News and Post April 8, 1893
Perhaps an incident a few years later led to the Council's intervention.
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