About us

Selection of images of Hackney

The Discover Hackney partnership is a group of ten Hackney based organisations who share common goals around increasing the use and knowledge of the borough's rich heritage and its built environment. We work together on projects which increase learning and a sense of pride about the various strands that make up the rich heritage of our diverse communities.


Hackney was the home of the earliest Elizabethan theatre, and has always been a place for artists. It has also been a base for social and political reformers, provided a haven for those fleeing political and religious oppression, and offered a home for families seeking work and space to start a new life. Famous, infamous, and everyday. We share their stories. One of our current projects by Every Generation Foundation is a film and exhibition about Eddie Noble – the Jamaican airman who inspired the lead character in Andrea Levy's book "Small Island"


The borough shares its southern border with the City of London and has always been a place of contrasts, experiencing the best and worst of what makes London a world city. Many of its historic buildings have survived and Hackney has 1,300 listed buildings and sites. Hackney also has The Building Exploratory, an organisation which helps people gain a better understanding of the buildings and spaces that surround them, The Hackney Society which involves local people in the conservation of the built environment, and Hackney Historic Buildings Trust which helps to preserve and rescue 'at risk' buildings.


Between them the ten Discover Hackney partners are responsible for a 13thC tower, a 16thC manor house, 18thC almshouses, a unique Victorian music hall, an ex-Congregational chapel that in its heyday had an attendance of 1,500, and Abney Park a non-conformist cemetery turned woodland park. We care for, and share the stories of these places. But we are also interested in the way ordinary people have lived their lives and provide ways of sharing this at Hackney Museum, Hackney Archives and the Geffrye Museum – a national museum of the home.


With 20 different home languages and over 40% of its residents from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, Hackney has one of the most diverse populations in the country. We celebrate that diversity, exploring and sharing the ways in which it has contributed to the cultural life and heritage of the borough. Our volunteer projects at Sutton House and elsewhere give young people a role in supporting our work and helping members of the public access our services, while Hoxton Hall leads on a partnership project for young people to explore and recreate heritage stories through theatre.

For more information please contact info@discoverhackney.co.uk

Photograph of Herb Garden at The Geffrye by Sunniva Harte.