Britain’s tiny Jewish community (about 263,000 people) is the oldest non-Christian minority in the country. In 1656 Jews returned to England after an absence of nearly 400 years and the Jewish community has enjoyed a history of continuous settlement in England since 1656, a record unmatched anywhere else in Europe.
Jewish Heritage in Britain and Ireland celebrates in full colour the undiscovered heritage of Anglo-Jewry. First published in 2006, it remains the only comprehensive guide to historic synagogues and sites in the British Isles, based on an authoritative survey carried out with the support of English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The guide is simple to use, covering more than 300 sites, organised on a region-by-region basis. Each section highlights major Jewish landmarks, ranging from Britain’s oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks Synagogue in the City of London, through the Georgian gems of the West Country to the splendid High Victorian “cathedral synagogues” of Birmingham, Brighton, Liverpool and Glasgow. Relics of Anglo-Jewry’s medieval past are explored in York, Lincoln and Norwich, and venerable burial grounds with Hebrew inscriptions are found in the unlikeliest of places. Curious oddities are not to be missed, including a 19th-century private penthouse synagogue in Brighton and an Egyptian-style Mikveh [ritual bath] in Canterbury.
The new edition has been completely revised and features many new images including, for the first time, of sites in Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The easy-to-follow heritage trails around former Jewish quarters in the major cities have been updated and full postcodes are now given for SatNav users.