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Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656

Sharman Kadish

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies, volume 43, 2011 Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 SHARMAN KADISH In Hebrew, a Jewish burial ground is referred to by several names: Bet Kevarot 'house of graves', Bet Hayim 'house of life' or Bet Olam 'house of eternity.' According to halakhah (Orthodox Jewish law) it is forbidden to disturb the physical remains of the dead. Burial grounds are regarded as sacred places in perpetuity. Although no great emphasis is placed on the afterlife in Judaism, which is primarily concerned with conduct in the here and now, the concept of Tehiat HaMetim (the Resurrection of the Dead) is a basic doctrine. A Jewish burial ground is consecrated ground. In practice, therefore, Jewish burial grounds may not be disturbed through archaeolog? ical investigation or redevelopment. Britain's Jewish community which, since the Cromwellian Resettlement of 1656, has never numbered more than about 450,000 people (after the Second World War), down to 267,000 according to the 2001 Census, has a significant legacy of burial grounds scat? tered all over the country. A total of 153 surviving Jewish burial grounds opened between 1690 and 1939 were recorded by the Survey of the Jewish Built Heritage in the UK &amp; Ireland (SJBH).1 The significance of this her? itage as funerary architecture has never before been examined in detail.2 This essay describes the architectural and landscaping features of Jewish ceme? teries in Britain and Ireland, using both typical and unusual examples within a chronological framework. Special attention is paid to the art and symbolism of the Jewish tombstone. Georgian Jewish burial grounds Since London was the natural focus of the seventeenth-century Resettlement and has consistently remained home to about two-thirds of Anglo-Jewry in the modern period, it is not surprising that the oldest burial grounds of Anglo-Jewry are located in the capital. Six Jewish burial grounds dating from 1 All have entries in S. Kadish, Jewish Heritage in England: An Architectural Guide (Swindon 2006). 2 S. Kadish, 'Bet Hayim: An Introduction to Jewish Funerary Art and Architecture in Britain' Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society 49 (2005) 31-58. 59</page><page sequence="2">Sharman Kadish before 1830 are extant in London, five of them in the East End. They include the oldest Sephardi and Ashkenazi grounds in the country, dating from 1657 and 1696/73 respectively, located close to one another at Mile End and Alderney Road. When these were established, Mile End was a rural location and thus conformed to the ancient halakhic requirement that burial places be located beyond the walls of the city. The growth of towns has led to historic burial grounds becoming hemmed in by urban development. Unlike churchyards, Jewish cemeteries are rarely located in proximity to the synagogue. (A unique example of a Jewish burial ground situated next to the synagogue, in the manner of a churchyard, is found at Rochester, Kent. However, this ground, thought to date from the 1780s, predates the Victorian Chatham Memorial Synagogue of 1865-70 and is physically separated from it by a steep bank.) By choice, cemeteries were normally isolated from the residential Jewish quarter, with its places of worship and other religious and social amenities. In Europe, before emanci? pation and the lifting of residence restrictions, the burial ground was often sited at the extremity of the ghetto or Jewish quarter. The famous Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague, which dates from the fifteenth century, is a good example. The earliest burial ground of the Resettlement, the Sephardi Velho, opened in 1657, is situated behind the Bet Holim, forming the garden to the almshouses (Manuel Nunes Castello, 1912-13) now occupying the site. The Spanish and Portuguese 'Jews' Hospital' existed on this site from 1790, housed in a purpose-built three-storey building of 1806 (extended in Palladian style around 1815, architects unknown).4 The proximity of hospi? tal to burial ground occurred in German Jewish quarters from at least the seventeenth century, for example in F?rth, Frankfurt and Berlin.5 The 3 B. S?sser (ed.)Alderney Road Jewish Cemetery, London Ei, 1697-1853 (London 1997), the pub? lished results of a field survey in 1993 organized as a student exchange project through ICOMOS UK and ICOMOS Israel by me. 4 Two early-nineteenth-century prints in the Tower Hamlets Local History Library are reproduced in L. Fraser, 'Four Per Cent Philanthropy: Social Architectural for East London Jewry, 1850 1914' in S. Kadish (ed.) Building Jerusalem: Jewish Architecture in Britain (London 1997) 168-9, %s 8.1 and 8.2. A hand-coloured original of 8.2, drawn and engraved by T. Prattent, 1819, is in the Jewish Museum, London, no. AR 790. It was published in the Gentleman s Magazine, Dec. 1819: see A. Rubens, Anglo-Jewish Portraits (London 1935), no. 471. Fig. 8.1 is probably from a wood engraving published in the European Magazine (c. 1806) shown at the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition of 1887: see J. Jacobs and L. Wolf (eds) Catalogue of the Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition Royal Albert Hall, London, 188j (London 1888), 'Edition de Luxe' [photographs by Frank Haes], no. 1205, also nos 558 and 559; and Rubens, Anglo-Jewish Portraits, no. 470. 5 J. Jacobs, Houses of Life: Jewish Cemeteries of Europe, photography by Hans Dietrich Beyer (London 2008) 84. He quotes from secondary sources that mistranslate the Hebrew word Hekdesch as meaning 'hospital', whereas it actually means 'consecrated', thus referring to the cemetery itself and not to the hospital built alongside; on Frankfurt, pp. 43-4; Berlin, Grosse Hamburgerstrasse, p. 81. 6o</page><page sequence="3">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 pattern of siting the Union workhouse and later the Infirmary close to the cemetery for the town's poor became common in Victorian Britain. For example, Manchester's Crumpsall Jewish Cemetery, Crescent Road, M8 (1884), is close to the former Union Workhouse, now North Manchester General Hospital. The establishment of the second Ashkenazi cemetery at Brady Street in the East End of London is well documented: land was acquired by the recently formed New Synagogue on a 95-year lease, dated 4 June 1761, and the site was described as: 'a certain brick field situate on the north side of Whitechapel Road, between the Ducking Pond there and Bethnal Green Church in the Parish of St Mary, Whitechapel, to be used as a burial ground, containing . . . one acre, more or less.'6 Its annual rent was set at ?12 12 shillings. The burial ground was evidently soon extended, because in 1780 it was referred to rather picturesquely as the 'new Burying Ground situate in Tuck and Pan Lane in the Parish of Saint Mary Whitechapel'. A building contract7 survives for a Bet Tohorah (mortuary) - now long gone ? to be con? structed of 'stock bricks' and 'plain tiles' and 'according to a design drawn . . . by James Campling Surveyor'. At this stage, the burial ground was enclosed within a wall, at a cost of ?450. Even the names of the bricklayers are known: 'Thomas Barlow of Cow Crofs in the Parish of Saint Sepulcher' and 'James Taylor of Turmade Street ClerkenwelP, both 'in the county of Middlesex'. They were to re-use bricks from the 'Old Building in the Old Burying Ground'. Portions of this boundary wall survive today. The ceme? tery contains more than 3000 tombstones; many of those dating from the Georgian period are badly weathered. It is chiefly remarkable for the large mound in the centre which contains multiple layered burials, the only example of this practice in a Jewish cemetery in Britain, comparable to the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague. Thus, like early synagogues, early Anglo-Jewish cemeteries were opened on leasehold land. Freehold possession is preferable according to Jewish law because, as mentioned already, burial grounds are regarded as sacred places in perpetuity and ought not to be disturbed. In practice this has not prevented their destruction, even in Britain whose Jewish community escaped the fate suffered on Continental Europe during the Holocaust. Georgian cemeteries, especially in the Midlands and North, at Liverpool, Birmingham, Hull and 6 London Metropolitan Archives (hereafter LMA) acc/2712/GTS/337/1. Important sources on early London Jewish cemeteries are D[aniel] Lysons, The Environs of London; Being an Historical Account of the Towns, Villages, and Hamlets, within Twelve Miles of that Capital, Vol. II, County ofMiddlesex (London 1792-6) and Supplement to the First Edition ofthe Historical Account of the Environs of London (London 1811); P[Philip] Ornstien, Laws and Bye-Laws of the Burial Society of the United Synagogue, adopted by the Council, March 24th, 5662-1902. With an Historical Preface of the Society and the United Synagogue Cemeteries (London 1902). 7 LMA acc/2712/GTS/337/1, dated 12 March i78i[?]. 6i</page><page sequence="4">Sharman Kadish Sheffield, fell victim to railway development in the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century several Georgian Jewish burial grounds were exhumed, usually but not always with the sanction of the Jewish religious authorities, for example at Gloucester in 1938, Hoxton, east London, in i960 and, most controversially, from the older part of the Sephardi Nuevo ground (1733) at Mile End in 1972.8 Freehold possession of land was generally forbidden to Jews in Christian Europe before the nineteenth century. In England, the legal position was not clear-cut.9 The Jews of the Resettlement were classed as aliens and therefore forbidden to own freehold land for any purpose. Aliens were permitted to take leases on domestic dwellings for a fixed term of years; it was legally ques? tionable whether a lease could be taken for the purposes of building a syna? gogue or opening a burial ground. The Jewish community acted with discretion, initially worshipping in private houses and seeking a sympathetic Christian owner of ground who was willing to grant a lease for burial pur? poses. There was no law against English-born or naturalized Jews owning freehold hand. Thus, later on, sons and grandsons secured the freehold of early leasehold synagogues and burial plots. The survival rate10 of Georgian Jewish burial grounds is far higher than that of Georgian synagogues. In many cases the opening of the burial ground predated the erection of a purpose-built synagogue, making cemeteries an invaluable source for tracking the development of Jewish communities across the country. To take Canterbury as an example: 'The date of erection of the synagogue "just taken down" is witnessed by the stone that was built into one of its walls (and which stone is yet preserved) is 5523-1762.'n So noted Jacob Jacobs, the secretary of the congregation, in 1848. The community was then building a new synagogue.12 He continued: 'The date on the tablet built into the wall of the old burial ground [Whitstable Road]... is 5521-1760 two years before the erection of the late synagogue'. Thus Canterbury's first purpose-built synagogue was a contemporary of both Plymouth's and Exeter's, both of which survive in use today. The oldest 'Anglo-Jewish' Jewish burial ground outside London is in the Irish capital of Dublin and dates from 1718 (Plate 1). The name Ballybough (pronounced 'Ballyboc') is, it seems, derived from the Irish 'Baile bocht' 8 Kadish (see n. 2) 50-52. 9 A. S. Diamond, 'The Cemetery of the Resettlement', Trans JHSE 19 (1955-9), 162-90, esp. 165-6. 10 For statistics on numbers, dating and distribution, see Kadish (see n. 2) 33-5. 11 J. Jacobs, Narrative of the Erection of the New Synagogue at Canterbury, Southampton University Library, Ms. 161 AJ 168 a/2. Extracts published in Dan Cohn-Sherbok, The Jews of Canterbury, /760-1931 (Canterbury 1984); the stone is extant at the Jewish Museum London, no. JM 3. 12 See S. Kadish, The Synagogues of Britain and Ireland: An Architectural and Social History (New Haven and London, forthcoming 2011). 62</page><page sequence="5">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 Plate i Ballybough Jewish Cemetery, Dublin, 1718 Photo and ? Nigel Corrie which literally means 'the town of the poor' and it was 'a noted burial place for suicides'.13 Owing to its proximity to Dublin Bay, the area was histori? cally the immigrant quarter of the city, attracting Huguenots and Quakers as well as Jewish Conversos. Among the original purchasers of 'The Jews' burial place' at Ballybough were several Sephardi members of 'the Jewish Congregation of Dublin' described as 'City merchants', including Alexander Felix, Jacob Do Porto and David Machado de Sequeira. In 1748 the lease for the burial ground (originally to run for only forty years) was renewed for a thousand years at a peppercorn rent on their behalf by the senior Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation at Bevis Marks in London. The dwin? dling Dublin community was then being threatened with prosecution for unpaid rent. The earliest Jewish community in Wales is in the port of Swansea on the south coast. Their burial ground in Mayhill was acquired by means of a 99 year lease dated 28 November 1768 that is still extant in Swansea City 13 Based on research by Bernard Shillman, esp. in the uncatalogued Archives of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation, London; B. Shillman, 'The Jewish Cemetery at Ballybough in Dublin', Trans JHSE 11 (1928) 143-67 and B. Shillman, A Short History of the Jews in Ireland (Dublin 1945) ch. 4 (updated version of his Trans JHSE article). 63</page><page sequence="6">Sharman Kadish Plate 2 Georgian tombstones at the Jews' Lane Burial Ground, FawcettRoad, Southsea, 1749 Photo: Michael Hesketh-Roberts ? English Heritage Archives.14 High up on a steep site overlooking the Bay, as the old name 'Townhill' suggests, this extensive cemetery, with some fine Welsh slate tombstones, is sheltered from the wind by a high rubble stone wall. In England most of the older Jewish cemeteries are located in the southern half of the country. The oldest fully documented Jewish burial ground in the English provinces is in Portsmouth, located at the aptly named Jews' Lane, Fawcett Road, Southsea; the land for this cemetery was acquired in 1749 (Plate 2).15 A Hebrew tablet inside the Ohel (lit. 'tent') yields the civil date 1781, although the current Ohel, the third on site, dates from 1881. The Ohel is a small chapel or prayer hall in which the funeral service is conducted. Funeral services are not generally held in the synagogue, but at the cemetery immediately prior to interment. Often the function of the Ohel is combined with that of the Bet Tohorah (lit. 'house of purification') in a single building. The Bet Tohorah is the mortuary where the body of the deceased is laid out on a slab. Traditionally this slab is made of stone, sometimes marble, 14 Not seen by me. 15 Deed dated 6 Dec. 1749 at Southsea Synagogue. 64</page><page sequence="7">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 Plate 3 Bath Jewish Burial Ground, 1812, chest tombs Photo: Andrew Petersen ? Survey of the Jewish Built Heritage although modern facilities are equipped with a stainless steel hoist. The body is washed prior to burial, which takes place as soon as possible after death.16 Ideally, the Bet Tohorah is equipped with a water supply such as a well, and fireplace or boiler to heat the water used in the ritual cleansing. Little evi? dence of such facilities survives from the eighteenth century. 'Watchers' from the Hevrah Kadishah, or burial society, stay with the body until burial in traditional Jewish communities. In the Georgian period this could involve remaining overnight in the Bet Tohorah to guard against body snatchers. Unfortunately, no Georgian Ohalim or Batet Tohorah have survived (that at Bath of 1812 is derelict). They probably fell into disrepair or disuse, may have been demolished and rebuilt, or may never have been built at all owing to lack of funds. Thus dearth of material evidence makes it impossible to assess their architectural significance, if any. In Britain, there is no equivalent of the well-preserved waterside Sephardi Ohel at Ouderkerk-aan-de Amstel near Amsterdam that dates from 1705.17 16 The rituals are illustrated in the famous cycle of paintings, c. 1772, displayed in the 'Ceremonial Hall' of the Prague Jewish Burial Society; see colour photographs in Arno Pank et al., Prague Jewish Cemeteries (Prague 2003). 17 L. Alvares Vega, The Beth Haim of Ouderkerk aan de Amstel (Amsterdam, 3rd edn 1994). 65</page><page sequence="8">Sharman Kadish The 'Old Jews' Burying Ground' on Plymouth Hoe may slightly predate Portsmouth, but hard evidence is lacking before 1758. Certainly, after London, it is the South West that boasts the richest selection of Georgian Jewish burial grounds in the country. An original lease dates Exeter's Bull Meadow to 1757. In Cornwall, old grounds can be found at Falmouth (c. 1789-90) and Penzance (1791),18 and elsewhere at Bristol (before 1759), Bath (1812; Plate 3) and Cheltenham (1824). A cluster of Georgian and Regency Jewish burial grounds is also to be found in East Anglia, at Ipswich (1796), Great Yarmouth (1801), Norwich (1813) and Kings Lynn (before 1811), although these are not generally in such well-preserved condition as the West Country examples. In Kent, as noted, Canterbury's Old Jewish Cemetery (restored in 1998), dates from 1760 and Sheerness's from 1804. Early provincial cemeteries, like some early synagogues, were sometimes close to the Dissenters. Such was the case at Falmouth (next door to the Congregationalists),19 Exeter20 and, slightly later (1813), at Norwich's 'Quakers Lane', Gildencroft.21 In a few instances, in the age before burial leg? islation forbade such practices, the communal cemetery started as someone's back garden: for example, in Plymouth,22 almost certainly in the garden belonging to Mrs Sarah Sherrenbeck from 1744 and possibly as early as 1726. Its use 'for a Burying Place of the dead which profess the Jewish religion' was not made explicit until 1758. In that year the three London Jewish merchants who signed the new lease apparently contributed the ?40 to pay for an exten? sion. The acquisition of this cemetery thus predated the formal establishment of the Plymouth Hebrew Congregation. The 'burying place for the Society of Jews in Plymouth' was extended in 1811, this time without outside assis? tance. Nevertheless, as a precaution to prevent any challenge to the legal enti? tlement of Jews to hold land, the lease was signed by 'John Saunders of 18 Documented in K. Pearce and H. Fry (eds) The Lost Jews of Cornwall (Bristol 2000). 19 Land at Ponsharden, Falmouth was presented both to the Jews and the Congregationalists by Sir Francis Bassett, Lord de Dunstanville (1757-1835) c. 1780: see Schedule: Jewish and Congregationalist Cemeteries at Ponsharden, Falmouth, NM no. 15581, English Heritage Report, 17 October 2002 and correspondence with its author David Hooley: Falmouth Jewish and Congregationalist Cemeteries, Cornwall: Archaeological Assessment (Truro, Cornwall Council 2010). 20 The Exeter leases have been transcribed and were published by Frank J. Gent in a series of book? lets: Discovering the Jews' Burial Ground at Exeter, History of the Exeter Jews' Burial Ground', Tombstone Inscriptions at Exeter Jews' Burial Ground, printed by Exeter Synagogue n.d. [late 1990s]; see also 21 Deed 9 December 1813, according to C. Roth, Archives of the United Synagogue, Report and Catalogue (London 1930) 68, but not found by me either at LMA or Southampton University Library. 22 B. S?sser, Jews of South West England', Tombstone Inscriptions on the Old Jewish Cemetery on Plymouth Hoe (privately printed, 1996); 'Jewish Cemeteries in the West of England', in Kadish (ed.)(seen. 4)155-66. 66</page><page sequence="9">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 Plate 4 Urmston Jewish Cemetery, Manchester, Sephardi section, c. 1878 Photo: Bob Skingle ? English Heritage Plymouth, gentleman' in addition to three local Jews: Abraham Emanuel of Plymouth Dock and Michael Nathan of Plymouth, both shopkeepers, and Benjamin Levy, an optician. Another example of an early garden cemetery is in Liverpool: two photographs of the back-garden burial ground at 133 Upper Frederick Street (1789) are preserved in the Ohel at Broadgreen Cemetery, where the remains (1789-1902) were transferred in 1923. The original ceme? tery of Birmingham Jewry was located in the Froggery in the garden of the second synagogue of 1791, where New Street Station now stands. In terms of architectural style or landscaping, Georgian Jewish, and indeed many later, cemeteries are unremarkable. All have some kind of enclosure, usually paid for by the Jewish community. Old boundaries, as seen at Brady Street, tended to be substantial: brick or stone walls, sometimes buttressed. (The walls of old Jewish cemeteries are occasionally Listed in their own right, as in the case of Penzance, Lestinnick Terrace; Exeter, Bull Meadow; and Bristol, St Philips Cemetery, Barton Road.) Inside, the chief difference among Jewish cemeteries lies in the use of characteristic flat stones in Sephardi ceme? teries (rare in England; Plate 4) as opposed to the simple upright stones of the Ashkenazim, the overwhelming majority of Jews in this country. The form and decoration of tombstones is usually simple, concentrated on the lettering 67</page><page sequence="10">Sharman Kadish of the inscription (Plate 5). Some finely carved Hebrew inscriptions are to be found, especially in the Georgian burial grounds of the West Country and East Anglia. Traditional decorative motifs carved on Georgian and later Jewish tombstones include open hands, denoting the grave of a Cohen, a descendant of the biblical priesthood. Hand and ewer pouring water denote the grave of a Levi or descendant of the Levitical families who served the Cohanim in the Jerusalem Temple. Today, Levi*im ritually wash the hands of Cohanim before the latter recite Birkat Cohanim or the 'Priestly Blessing' {Numbers 6:24-6) during some synagogue services (see Plate 2). Open hands and a pair of candlesticks denote the grave of a pious woman who lights Sabbath candles. Another traditional animal symbol that recalls a key prayer in the High Holyday liturgy, likening the living to a flock of sheep awaiting judgement, occurs occasionally, for example in London at Brady Street (1761), but this is quite rare. Other relief decoration may allude to the name of the deceased, for 68</page><page sequence="11">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 example representations of animals such as a lion for Leib (Yiddish), Yehudah or Aryeh (Hebrew); a deer for Hirsch (Yiddish), Tsvi or Naftali (Hebrew); a bear for Dov Ber (Yiddish) or Issachar (Hebrew); a wolf for Volf (Yiddish), Ze'ev or Benjamin (Hebrew). Common women's names such as Feigel, 'Bird' (Yiddish), Tsipora (Hebrew), Reizel, 'Rose' or Bluma, 'Flower' (Yiddish), are illustrated by a dove or rose. However, such allusions, while frequently found in old Ashkenazi Jewish burial grounds in Eastern Europe, are unusual in Britain, even in the Georgian period. Indeed, in Britain there is nothing to rival the elaborate art of the Jewish tombstone elsewhere in Europe, such as the lavish Renaissance and Baroque carved decoration on tombstones in Galicia or in Bohemia and Moravia, as exemplified in the Old Jewish Cemetery of Prague.23 A handful of grounds from the Georgian period contain chest tombs, for example in the East End of London at the Velho Old Sephardi Cemetery in Mile End and at the Great Synagogue's cemetery in Alderney Road (also at Ballybough in Dublin and Bath (see Plate 3). The use of the skull and cross bones sculpted in relief on several of these tombstones24 is unique in Britain and reflects the assimilation of the elite of eighteenth-century London Jewry to the prevailing fashions of the day. Figurative art, in the form of reliefs, busts or even statuary, is not unknown in Jewish funerary art, despite the taboo on figurative art in Judaism (a 'taboo' not as clear-cut as is generally assumed25). However, England has nothing in this respect to compare with the sophisticated examples found in seventeenth-century Sephardi ceme? teries, for instance at Ouderkerk and - less recognized - in the Ashkenazi world, again in Prague.26 23 Pank (see n. 16); other sources in English are J. Herman, Jewish Cemeteries in Bohemia and Moravia (Prague 1983); D. Goberman, Jewish Tombstones in Ukraine and Moldova Masterpieces of Jewish Art vol. 4 (Moscow 1993); D. Goberman, Carved Memories: Heritage in Stone from the Russian Jewish Pale (New York 2000); M. Krajewska, A Tribe of Stones (Warsaw 1993); A. Schwartzman, Graven Images: Graphic Motifs of the Jewish Gravestone (New York 1993); B. Khaimovitch, 'In the Footsteps of An-sky, 1988-1993' in R. Gonen (ed.) Back to the Shtetl: An sky and the Jewish Ethnographic Expedition 1912?1914: From the Collections of the State Ethnographic Museum in St Petersburg (Jerusalem 1994) 1?7, 121?33. 24 Several examples are illustrated in S?sser (see n. 3) and Kadish (see n. 1) 28-9. In the case of the Velho, other interesting tombstones, one featuring 'a cartouche with a nude figure holding a sash', have now disappeared; see M. Lowenthal, A World Passed By: Great Cities in Jewish Diaspora History (1933, repr. Malibu, California, 1990) 224. 25 See V. B. Mann (ed.) Jewish Texts on the Visual Arts (Cambridge 2000). 26 See Pafik (see n. 16) 44-5 and Mann (see n. 25) 31-4, who cites a responsum of Rabbi Moses Sofer (known by the title of his chief work, the Hatam Sofer), written in Pressburg/Bratislava in 1832 condemning the use of a human image in relief on a Jewish tombstone, as can still be seen in the portrait on the Ohe I of the Chief Rabbi of Prague, Rabbi Aaron Simeon Spira (d. 1679), who is buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery. Mann ascribes the Hatam Sofer's stringency to 'various pressures on traditional Judaism during the nineteenth century, among them the growth of the Reform movement.' 69</page><page sequence="12">Sharman Kadish During the Scottish Age of Enlightenment, Herman Lyon (or Heyman Lion) in 1795 purchased a private burial plot for himself and his wife on Calton Hill overlooking Edinburgh.27 This is the earliest example either of a private mausoleum or a Jewish family tomb in the UK, a custom that, although having roots in the Bible,28 is rare in Jewish architectural history. Lyon, who was a German-born Jew, had a successful Edinburgh practice as dentist and 'corner operator' - Georgian English for a chiropodist. He was the author of a learned treatise on the corn, published in 1802 and in all prob? ability of doubtful scientific value. Lyon's was a remarkable transaction, taking place between the City Council and a registered alien in the middle of the French Wars. Sadly, nothing today remains of his tomb save a bit of rubble, and its appearance went unrecorded. It is unclear exactly when the interments actually took place, some time after 1795. The 'Burying place of the Jews' is clearly marked on Kirkwood's Plans and Illustrations of the City of Edinburgh, Section 5 (1817) in the National Monuments Record of Scotland, Edinburgh.29 Lyon's mausoleum was constructed just before Calton Hill became the imposing landmark it is today, dotted with eccentric structures, ranging from Gothick to Greek Revival. Most of the monuments on the hill were erected during the Napoleonic Wars, down to 1830. The organized Jewish community in Edinburgh was only established in 1816 and its first burial ground - the oldest in Scotland - at Braid Place (Sciennes House Place) was not opened until 1820. The earliest example of a Jewish plot planned and landscaped as part of the overall design of a town cemetery is the Jews' Enclosure at the Glasgow Necropolis.30 (It was followed by the Jewish plot in the Glasgow Eastern Necropolis, Janefield, 1853-6.) The Glasgow Necropolis was laid out in 1829-33 on the model of the prestigious Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. In 1830 the Glasgow Jewish community paid a hundred guineas outright to secure provision in what was one of the first public cemeteries in Britain. In fact, the first burial in the entire cemetery was that of Joseph Levi, aged 62, 27 A. Phillips, Origins of the First Jewish Community in Scotland-Edinburgh 1816 (Edinburgh 1979). 28 See Kadish (see n. 2) 45. 29 The 1851 OS map of Edinburgh, published 1853, also shows the location of the tomb, there labelled 'Jews' Burial Vault (Lyon's Family)', courtesy Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (hereafter RCAHMS), Edinburgh; John Gifford et at., The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh (Harmondsworth 1984) 434-9. 30 G. Blair, Biographic and Descriptive Sketches of Glasgow Necropolis (Glasgow 1857) 336-49 (avail? able online through Google Books). Blair quotes, p. 341, from L. Hill, A Companion to the Necropolis, or Notices of the History, Buildings, Inscriptions, Plants, &amp;c, of the Fir Park Cemetery of the Merchant's House of Glasgow, illustrated with Landscape and Architectural Drawings (Glasgow 1836), of which only Vol. 1 appeared, not seen. These earlier sources were used by A. Levy, The Origins of Glasgow Jewry 1812-18% (Glasgow 1949) and A. Levy, 'The Origins of Scottish Jewry' Trans JHSE 19 (i960) 129-62; see also E. Williamson et al., The Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow (Harmondsworth 1990) 139. 70</page><page sequence="13">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 a quill merchant, who was interred on 12 September 1832 in the Jewish plot. The rest of the cemetery did not become operational until May 1833. Levi had died of cholera, an epidemic raging in the city at the time. His coffin was filled with lime and water, either to prevent the spread of infection or as pro? tection against grave robbers. The tiny Jews' Enclosure, in use 1832-51, was provided with a stone boundary wall, monumental column and iron gateway31 erected around 1835-6 at the expense of the city. The column and gateway were designed by John Bryce (1805/6-5132), who was responsible for other contemporary monuments within the complex, including the Catacombs and the Egyptian vaults.33 Bryce's obelisk was reputedly mod? elled on Absalom's Pillar in Jerusalem. However, as George Blair com? mented in 1857, the conical-shaped dome over that rock-hewn tomb actually looks nothing like its 'counterpart' in Glasgow.34 It may be relevant that the famous Scottish traveller-artist David Roberts's Holy Land, which was pub? lished in 1842, included a view of Absalom's Pillar. This may well be the origin of the connection made in Scotland between the two monuments. The pyramid does not occur as a motif in Jewish funerary art, in contrast to its popularity for important Gentile tombs. This was despite the dissem? ination of images of the Tombs of the Kings and Tombs of the Judges in Jerusalem in Victorian topographical literature, notably in James Fergusson's A History of Architecture in All Countries (1865). He illustrated both the 'Tomb of Absalom' and the 'Tomb of Zechariah'. The latter features a four sided pyramid roof. Fergusson remarked on 'the curious jumble of the Roman orders' in these tombs: 'The pillars and pilasters are Ionic, the archi? traves and frieze Doric, and the cornice Egyptian',35 and ascribed the tombs to the Herodian period or later. The obelisk in the Glasgow Jews' Enclosure is classical in form. Mounted on a high plinth, it tapers towards the top and has a carved decorative capital, somewhere between Corinthian and palmette. At the apex of the column is a pedestal decorated with antefixae-like carvings and a rounded urn finial. Stone scrolls over the gateway were also once finished by urn finials, now 31 Shown intact in the frontispiece of Levy, Origins (see n. 30); illustration source not traced, but may be the Companion to the Necropolis (1836). 32 Dictionary of Scottish Architects (hereafter DSA) available on-line at www.scottisharchitects. 33 'Glasgow Necropolis', Statutory List Description, Historic Scotland, 15 Dec. 1970, courtesy RCAHMS Edinburgh. 34 Blair (see n. 30) 342, 345, with acknowledgements to Ronnie Scott of Glasgow, writing his PhD on the Glasgow Necropolis, for drawing my attention to Blair's comments. 35 J. Fergusson, A History of Architecture in All Countries, from the earliest times to the present day, Vol. 1 (London 1865), Bk 4 'Etruscan and Roman Architecture': Ch. 5 Tombs, 332. He returned to the theme inj. Fergusson, The Temple of the Jews and the other buildings in the Haram area at Jerusalem (London 1878) 142-3. 7i</page><page sequence="14">Sharman Kadish Plate 6 Deane Road Cemetery, Liverpool, detail of the screen wall, 1836 Photo: Peter Williams ? English Heritage gone. The column and gateposts were inscribed with a combination of bib? lical quotations in Hebrew and English and a long quotation from Byron's Hebrew Melodies, ending in the proto-Zionist stanza: 'The wild dove hath her nest, the fox his cave,/Mankind their country - Israel but the grave.' The combination of Byronic and biblical quotations, now gently crum? bling away, must rate the Jews' Enclosure in the Glasgow Necropolis as one of the more romantic Jewish sites in Britain. (Liverpool's Deane Road Jewish Cemetery has a fine Greek Revival screen and gateway, dating from 1836, contemporary with the Glasgow Necropolis; Plate 6.) 72</page><page sequence="15">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 Jewish burial grounds in the Victorian age In the Victorian period many a Gothic-style Ohel is found in Jewish ceme? teries. (The Ohel often postdates the opening of the cemetery that it serves, just as the earliest extant tombstone is often of later date than the earliest burial.) This was in great contrast to the absence of Gothic Revival in syna? gogue architecture in Britain where, thanks to Pugin's connection between the pointed arch and Christianity, it was almost taboo.36 A photograph of the Ohel at the Prestwich Village burial ground, opened by the Manchester Great Synagogue in 1841, shows a simple brick building with a single Gothic arched doorway and matching window on the visible side wall. Badly van? dalized, it was demolished in 1951.37 The successor ground at Crumpsall, Crescent Road, opened in 1884, boasts a Gothic Ohel by George Oswald Smith38 that dominates the extensive and exposed hilltop site. This Ohel, of red brick with a slate roof, has unusual triangular-headed windows and is dated 1888 in Gothic-style lettering in its gable. A stained-glass fanlight over the main entrance by R. B. Edmundson &amp; Son, of Manchester (who also worked on synagogues), has disappeared. Another example, now lost, was Hyman Henry [H. H.] Collins's hexago? nal Ohel (1871) in the Witton Old Cemetery, Birmingham - rare for this archi? tect who favoured the Renaissance style for his synagogue buildings. It is interesting that this prototype was followed in both of the subsequent burial grounds of Birmingham Jewry, at Witton New (Essex &amp; Goodman, 1937) and Brand wood End (1918). The same hexagonal floor-plan was used, but in both these later cases the walls were constructed of red brick rather than of stone. The Witton New Ohel is the most elaborate of the three buildings, with Perpendicular windows filled with figurative stained glass, most unusual in a Jewish sacred building of any type. 39 Collins's Ohel was unfortunately demol? ished in 2002; Essex &amp; Goodman's was subsequently Listed Grade II (2006). Incidentally, the only other hexagonal Ohalim in the country are at Brighton, Florence Place, Ditchling Road (Lainson &amp; Son, 1891-340) and at 36 On the nineteenth-century 'Battle of the Styles' see S. Kadish, 'Constructing Identity: Anglo Jewry and Synagogue Architecture', Architectural History 45 (2002) 386-408 and Kadish (see n. 12) Pt2. 37 Jewish Chronicle (hereafter JC) 17 Aug. 1951. 38 Building Agreement, 27 Aug. 1888, found during research in Stenecourt Synagogue Strong Box; deposited 2000 in Manchester City Archives with a collection of deeds dating from 1814; burial registers in Ms M139/7/6/ (Box 222 and 223), 4 vols 1873-99; Vol. 2 'Manchester Hebrew Burial Ground, Prestwich' [1873-84]; the last two entries from 1884 refer to the first burials at Crumpsall;yC 29 March 1889, 26 Oct. 1894. 39 On stained glass in synagogues see Kadish (see n. 12) Pt. 4. 40 The Builder 10 June 1893, p. 448, and full-page plate n.p.; East Sussex Record Office, Ref: DB/D7/2763, 'Hollingdean Hebrew Cemetery "Mortuary and Cottage'", deposited 7 Aug. 1891, with acknowedgements to Barbara Bowman and Nick Antram. 73</page><page sequence="16">Sharman Kadish Plate 7 The hexagonal Ohel, 1928, at Newport Jewish Cemetery, Risca Road, 1859 Photo: Iain Wright ? Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales Newport, South Wales (burial ground opened 1859, Ohel 1928; Plate 7). The Brighton example, Listed Grade II, is of red brick with red-stone dressings (giving the appearance of fashionable terracotta) with a hexagonal red-tiled turret to match. It presumably replaced the original Ohel commissioned from David Mocatta - Anglo-Jewry's first architect - in the 1830s, the appearance of which went unrecorded. Far more typical in the nineteenth century and later, all over the country, are modest Ohalim of no architectural pretensions, often simple single-storey structures of brick, sometimes stone, with a pitched roof. The conventional alignment was, and remains, east-west with entrance and exit doors in the short gable walls. Sometimes the Ohel abuts the front boundary wall of the cemetery, making a logical procession of the funeral cortege from street to grave. The simple Ohel in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Wolverhampton (corner of Cockshutts Lane and Thomson Avenue, 1851,41 Listed Grade II in 2008) features four large prayer-boards painted in meticulous Hebrew, the text comprising almost the whole of the funeral service. A complete text displayed on panels, tablets or painted directly onto the walls, is rare in Britain, but was more widespread in Eastern Europe, especially in the syna? gogue, where printed prayerbooks were in short supply.42 41 JC 18 June 1858 (repr. from Wolverhampton Journal). 42 B. Yaniv, 'Wall Decoration in Eastern European Synagogues: Eclectic Patterns and Their Sources', paper given at 'The Jewish Presence in Art' conference, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel, 18 June 2008. 74</page><page sequence="17">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 Victorian Britain was the great age of the public cemetery and, from an early date, Jews took advantage of the facilities on offer. In one of the earli? est municipal cemeteries in England, the Common Cemetery, Southampton, the Jewish community was in negotiation with the corporation for a plot in 1845, a year before the opening of the cemetery. The first Jewish burial appears to have taken place in 1854.43 This was within a year of the passing of the Burial Act of 1853,44 which extended the Burial Act 'concerning the Burial of the Dead in the Metropolis' (1852) across the country. This legis? lation forced not only the closure of urban churchyards, by then overcrowded and regarded as a source of disease, but also of numerous private burial grounds, including some Jewish ones.45 It provided for the construction of municipal cemeteries, publicly funded through Burial Boards run by parish vestries, the forerunners of city, county and borough councils. In the past, cemetery facilities had been in the hands of the Church, that is, from the six? teenth century, the Church of England. From the middle of the seventeenth century this monopoly was challenged in London by the Jews at Alderney Road in Mile End and by the non-Conformists at Bunhill Fields in Islington. From the 1770s open-air urban cemeteries began to make their appearance (one of the earlier being, as seen, in Scotland: Edinburgh's Calton Hill), funded, especially from the 1820s, by commercial joint stock companies. A cluster of Jewish plots in municipal cemeteries dating from the 1850s is to be found in East Anglia: Ipswich Old Cemetery (1855 Parks &amp; Gardens Register, P&amp;G), Norwich, Bowthorpe Road (1856 P&amp;G) and Great Yarmouth, Kitchener Road (1858) and all date back to the opening of their respective cemeteries.46 Towns in the North-East also began to provide facil? ities for burial for their Jewish communities from an early date, usually at the request of the latter: North Shields, Preston Road; Sunderland, Bishopswearmouth (both 1856) and Newcastle, St John's Cemetery, Elswick (i85 747) In many cases, but not in all, the Jewish plots are to be found at the edge of the neatly laid out general cemetery, or contiguous with it. Usually, they are provided with a separate entrance in the external perimeter wall and 43 From a search of the general burials registers (from 1846) kept by Bereavement Services, Southampton City Council; Jewish entries not logged separately. 44 J. S. Curl, A Celebration of Death (New York 1980) esp. chs 7 and 8; R. Bowdler et al., Paradise Preserved: An Introduction to the Assessment, Evaluation, Conservation and Management of Historic Cemeteries English Heritage/English Nature Draft Document, MK 01 (March 2002) 9-11, updated and published as brochure (London 2007). 45 Despite a partial exemption for Quakers and Jews; see full text on UK Statute Law Database at; Abraham Gilam, 'The Burial Grounds Controversy between Anglo Jewry and the Victorian Board of Health' Jewish Social Studies 45, no. 2 (1983) 147-56. 46 See Kadish (see n. 1) and Kadish (see n. 2). 47 Inexplicably, at Elswick the Jewish section lies outside the Parks &amp; Gardens [P&amp;G] designation. 75</page><page sequence="18">Sharman Kadish internally are separated by some form of boundary, ranging from solid stone walls to privet hedges and paths. The earliest examples were integrated into the overall design of the cemetery, which was laid out either in a 'picturesque' country estate style or on a sober, 'rational' - and more economical - grid, or sometimes a combination of the two. At Philips Park, the first municipal cemetery in Manchester (William Gay, 1867; Jewish plot, 1874, P&amp;G48), there are clearly marked separate entrances for 'Catholics', 'Dissenters' and 'Jews' - although some town councils resisted the concept of denominational plots in public cemeteries. Several plots were equipped with Ohalim, simple Gothic style being the usual choice of the municipal architects who often designed them, in keeping with the chapels put up for Christian denominations. Although not all have survived, good examples are to be found in brick at Norwich, Bowthorpe Road (by the City Surveyor E. E. Benest, 1856) and in stone at Bradford, Scholemoor Cemetery (i860; Reform Jewish section, 1877, P&amp;G) and Manchester's Southern Cemetery (1879; Jewish plot 1892, P&amp;G).49 Southampton's Okel (F. J. Francis, 1846), now sadly disused, is most unusual and is Listed in its own right. Of stone, it has a Tudor doorway and ogee window-heads on the long walls. Large Ohel complexes, sometimes with one or more separate chapels, were built by metropolitan synagogue organizations only in private cemeteries in London. In such complexes, a clear division of functions was accorded to the Ohel, the 'chapel', as opposed to the Bet Tohorah, 'mortuary'. In older and poorer communities the one building served both purposes. The large London Jewish complexes were designed with a completely separate space designated for the Cohanim, as well as offices and conveniences. A caretaker's house or flat was also included as part of the plan. Such complexes were inspired by contemporary fashions in public cemetery design and parallelled similar tastes among acculturated Jews on the Continent, particularly in Germany, where planned cemeteries with 'ceremonial halls' began to appear from the 1800s, for example in Berlin (Friedrich Wilhelm Langerhans, 1827), and Frankfurt-am-Main (Friedrich Rumpf, 1828-9), as a result of the Haskalah or Jewish Enlightenment.50 Early examples tended to be built in 48 Clare Hartwell et al., Lancashire: Manchester and the South East: Pevsner Architectural Guides (New Haven and London 2004) 60. 49 Ibid. 413. 50 U. Knufinke, 'Ritual Buildings of Jewish Cemeteries in Germany - A Sketch', lecture, European Association of Jewish Studies Conference, Amsterdam 2002; U. Knufinke, '"Temples of Jewish Mourning": Jewish Cemetery Architecture in Germany between the 17th and 20th Century', both kindly copied to me by Ulrich Knufinke. See also his important Bauwerke J?discher Friedh?fe in Deutschland Studien Vol. 3, Bet Tfila, Research Institute for Jewish Architecture, Technical University of Braunschweig (Braunschweig 2007); see also Pafik (see n. 16); D. Jarrasse, 'L'art funeraire au XIXe siecle', Monuments historiques 191 (Feb. 1994) [issue devoted 76</page><page sequence="19">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 neo-classical style with no overt Jewish symbolism, parallelling develop? ments in synagogue architecture. By the mid-century, a variety of historicist styles was in use for cemetery buildings as well as for synagogues. The Romanesque Revival 'Ceremonial Hall' in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague dates from 1906-8 (by J. Gerstel and A. Gabriel). Here all functions were combined under one roof of the lavish two-storey building.51 The earliest English example of an architect-designed Jewish cemetery dates from the 1850s. In 1856, Brady Street, the burial ground of the London New Synagogue since 1761, was shut down under the Burial Act. In the same year,52 the congregation acquired a new site further out of the encroaching city, at 'Forest Gate, Essex', now Buckingham Road, E15, next door to what became the general West Ham Cemetery. Chief Rabbi Nathan Adler conse? crated the Jewish cemetery on 30 May 1858. The Jewish Chronicle reported that: 'Kohanim (descendants of Aaron), on usual occasions prevented from entering a cemetery, dug the first grave. The first body buried there, we understand, was that of Mrs. Moss, of Leman Street.'53 H. H. Collins designed all the buildings on the site including a 'large mor? tuary hall' (i.e. Ohel) and 'a proper lavatory for efficiently washing the dead' (i.e. Bet Tohorah), as well as the Keeper's 'retiring rooms' (i.e. flat, situated over the Ohel), 'a tool house, &amp;c for keeping the biers' and 'a watch house'. Ten builders completed for the contract to construct this complex 'entirely of ornamental brickwork'; it was awarded to Morter of Stratford for ?2263. None of these buildings survives today in this desolate inner-city cemetery which is inhabited by foxes, and no record of their appearance has so far come to light.54 Willesden Cemetery was designed in 1873 for the newly formed London wide United Synagogue, as the successor to West Ham, which was by then full. The site was located 'in the parish of Willesden, in the County of Middlesex', to the northwest of London and was acquired from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.55 The Jewish Chronicle described Willesden as 'a rural village' and waxed lyrical over its attractions: to 'Le patrimoine juif francais', ed. D. Jarrasse], 75-9; M. Brocke and C. E. Midler, Haus des Lebens: J?dische Friedh?fe in Deutschland (Leipzig 2001). 51 Pafik (see n. 16) 70-1. 52 Indenture quoted by Ornstien (see n. 6) xx-xxiv; see also H. Mellor, London Cemeteries (Stroud, 3rd edn 1999), 176-8; P. S. Wolfston, rev. by C. Webb, Greater London Cemeteries and Crematoria (London 1997). 53 Jejune 1858. 54 JC 18 Sept. 1857. N. S. Joseph designed a new lodge on Buckingham Road in 1874, also now demolished. 55 By a deed dated 14 March 1872 and a conveyance dated 29 Sept. 1873, cited by Ornstien (see n. 6) xxiv. 77</page><page sequence="20">Sharman Kadish Pleasant Willesden lies out-a-fleld. Here are green pastures gemmed with cowslips and daisy - here are lanes over-arched by tall trees, whose leaves wave in the breeze and glint in the sun - here are shrubberies and meadows, and the pleasant low of untethered cattle, and the fragrant breath of country air untainted by the smoke of a hundred thousand fires.56 The site cost the United Synagogue ?3500, with landscaping and the erec? tion of buildings raising the total to the substantial sum of ?9157 3s 8d. Considerable care was taken on planting of evergreens, especially laurel and fir, cedar, yew, holly and cypress, an unusual level of landscaping to rival the best of the new public cemeteries. However, the layout was a conventional grid to maximize land use. The Gothic was the preferred style of the Architect-Surveyor to the United Synagogue Nathan Solomon [N. S.] Joseph's for the cemetery build? ings - although he thoroughly disapproved of it for synagogues. His expen? sive stone Okel complex, built by Newmann &amp; Mann, included a Bet Tohorah and a separate room for the Cohanitn, as well as the 'Keeper's Lodge', situ? ated outside the original boundary wall. He utilized Kentish ragstone with Bath and Mansfield stone dressings, and the roofs were of green and purple slate with red tile-crestings. The main Ohel measured 40 feet by 25 feet inter? nally, with a ceiling of deal, stained to imitate oak. The pointed windows were filled with tinted cathedral glass in leaded diamond quarries. Joseph characterized his chosen style as 'Gothic ... of the geometric period'.57 By contrast, red brick and terracotta Romanesque was the choice of Davis &amp; Emanuel for the Golders Green Jewish Cemetery, Hoop Lane (1895-7),58 shared by the Spanish &amp; Portuguese and Reform congregations. This is the closest Anglo-Jewry got to the Continental model of an architect-designed Jewish cemetery complex fronting a public street. It is situated directly across the road from the Golders Green Crematorium, opened in 1902, where Reform cremations take place to this day. The pair of matching Ohalim is linked by a barrel-vaulted porte-cochere that spans the access road. Nevertheless, the complex is set well back from the street, unlike equivalent examples in Germany. All the complexes in the privately owned London Jewish cemeteries were designed by Jewish architects, a circumstance that applied in Germany too, late in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In England, however, the architects were not necessarily the most progres? sive designers of their day. Elaborate memorials can be seen in Victorian Jewish cemeteries, whether 56 JC io Oct. 1873; see also^C 25 April 1873; The Builder 18 Oct. 1873, p. 822; Jacobs (see n. 5) 172-5 for new photographs. 57 JCioOct. 1873. 58 JCioFeb. 1897. 78</page><page sequence="21">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 Plate 8 Gothic-style tombstones at Manchester's Old Reform Cemetery, Higher Lane, Whitefield, opened 1858 Photo: Bob Skingle ? English Heritage private or public. Following Christian precedents, in this period, much greater social class distinction entered Jewish burial practice than the tradi? tion allowed. The styles of memorials usually followed the fashions of the day: tall urns, orbs and chests abound for wealthier souls, although naturally without the crosses and weeping angels favoured in Christian cemeteries. During this period the Magen David (Star, literally 'shield', of David) began to appear with increasing frequency on gravestones, as it did in synagogue architecture, as a public confirmation of Jewishness, equivalent to the cross. Jewish tombstones in the shape of a pointed arch and carved in Gothic let? tering are not uncommon in the Victorian era and are to be found in munic? ipal and privately owned Jewish plots alike (Plate 8). The stonemasons who worked on these memorials were usually Gentiles. It is noticeable that Jewish stonemasons such as Samuels, Harris and Elfes in the East End of London rarely used Gothic profiles. The fact remains, none the less, that in general, the Jewish clients of Gentile stonemasons did not object to the style of the day on offer. Jews found the association between the neo-Gothic and death 79</page><page sequence="22">Sharman Kadish acceptable. However, in life it was too closely associated with the established Anglican Church. Orientalism and funerary art The fashion for Oriental style in late-nineteenth-century synagogue archi? tecture had a minimal effect on funerary art in Britain. This was in strong contrast to Continental Europe, where 'Orientalist'59 funerary monuments appeared in Germany from the 1850s60 and became widespread by the 1890s. In the New Jewish Cemetery at Via Cipro on the Venice Lido, not far from the famous Old Cemetery at San Nicol?, can be seen lavish memorials fea? turing copper onion-domes, reminiscent of John Nash's Brighton Pavilion (1815-22). This Mughal-inspired building was reputedly a source for the dome of the Berlin Temple on Oranienburgerstrasse (Eduard Knoblauch, 1866), an equally famous building in the world of nineteenth-century Jewry. In Europe, Orientalism in funerary art persisted well after it was abandoned for the synagogue.61 Yet, to my knowledge, the only comparable example in England is to be found in the Sephardi section of the Urmston Jewish Cemetery in Manchester and dates only from 1923. Made of differently coloured granites, this memorial was nicknamed the 'Taj Mahal' by the sexton.62 Helen Rosenau praised the Montefiore Mausoleum at Ramsgate as 'an outstanding example of applied oriental historicism to Victorian architec? ture' (Plate 9).63 Ramsgate is a rare modern example of the ancient Jewish custom of establishing family tombs. However, here, Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885) was following more immediate English aristocratic practices. After the death of his beloved wife Judith, Lady Montefiore (1784-1862), Sir Moses built the mausoleum on his estate, next door to his private 'chapel', David Mocatta's Regency-style synagogue (1831-3). The architect of the mausoleum is unknown and the style is in complete contrast to Mocatta's classicism. Ramsgate's Mausoleum is essentially a replica of Rachel's Tomb on the road to Bethlehem. Sir Moses commissioned it as an appropriate memorial to his childless wife who predeceased him. Rachel's Tomb is reputed to have been the spot where the Patriarch Jacob buried his favourite 59 See Kadish (see n. 12) for a discussion of this term. 60 Knufmke, '"Temples of Jewish Mourning'" (see n. 50); Knufinke, Bauwerke (see n. 50). 61 F. Bedoire, The Jewish Contribution to Modern Architecture (New York 2004) 142-6 (Rothschild tombs in Frankfurt), 158-63 (Fould and other financiers' tombs in Paris); Jarrasse (see n. 50). 62 Paul Fernandez, stonemason and sexton at Urmston, who died Sept. 2004 in his 40s. He had acquired some knowledge of Hebrew and was thought to have had Spanish-Jewish ancestry. 63 H. Rosenau, 'Reflections on Moses Montefiore and Social Function in the Arts' Journal of Jewish Art VIII (1981) 63; 'Rachel's Tomb' in R. D. Pringle, The Crusader Churches of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (Cambridge 1998) vol. 2, 176-8. 8o</page><page sequence="23">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 II I ll?^fl JpiilL ?\ \ i i \ i i i * .1 i i Cfemrrf HttJtmliM? Arttft NwyMcMf RNd ^??mm mn? iniiifcni ?Ht(MN ??!&lt;? I MM RlMWtO MMI tut M Ipapprt IM WM MH JMw Mnp wi-w?. KM? MMt taw* MnImn Plate 9 The Montefiore Mausoleum, Ramsgate, of 1862 with the Montefiore Synagogue behind (David Mocatta 1831-3) ? Barbara Bowman for the Survey of the Jewish Built Heritage wife Rachel, who died in childbirth with her youngest son Benjamin (Genesis 35:19-20). It is one of the traditional places of Jewish pilgrimage in the Land of Israel. The custom of visiting the graves of biblical heroes and famous rabbis (Tsaddikim) is ancient in Judaism, and the graves of famous rabbis in Eastern Europe are still visited by pious Jews today, especially Hasidim (notably the graves of Rebbe Nahman of Bratslav in Uman, Ukraine, and of the Hatam Sofer, Rabbi Moses Sofer, in Bratislava). The extant domed structure built over Rachel's Tomb is thought to date back to the Crusader period, but was rebuilt by the Muslims in the fifteenth century; the site itself is first recorded in the fourth century. At the fascimile in Ramsgate - which was built of brick, stuccoed and rusticated, unlike the stone prototype - the Montefiores were laid to rest side by side in brick vaults covered by identical chest tombs of Aberdeen marble. By contrast, during the same decade, in 1866, the Viennese-born Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-98) of Waddesdon chose to memorialize his young wife (and second cousin) Evelina (1839-66), who within a year of their marriage had died in childbirth, in a more conventional Renaissance-inspired rotunda at West Ham Jewish Cemetery.64 Taking a cue from Sir Moses 64 M. Hall, Waddesdon Manor: The Heritage of a Rothschild House (New York 2002) 36,53,180,181 (image); Mellor (see n. 52) 176-8. 8i</page><page sequence="24">Sharman Kadish Montefiore, Ferdinand afterwards had himself buried in the mausoleum. The Rothschild Mausoleum was designed by Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt (1820-77), perhaps the most prestigious architect ever to have been com? missioned to work for the Jewish community and a master of the 'free' clas? sical style. The Rothschilds, as the undisputed 'aristocracy' of Anglo-Jewry, could well afford it. The young Lewis Solomon (1848-1928) was articled in Wyatt's office and 'assisted ... in the drawings and superintendance of the mausoleum'.65 Solomon went on to design a number of London synagogues, mostly modest in scale, in Ttalianate' style. Rothschild's choice of style may have influenced his uncle James (Jacob Mayer, 1792-1868) in France. The two branches of the family were close; Waddesdon was built in 1874-89 in the manner of a French chateau, designed by the French architect Hippolyte Destailleur. In 1868 James de Rothschild was buried in 'an elegant classical temple with thin stylized vegetative ornamentation'66 in the Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. Much more eccentric than Rothschild's Renaissance or Montefiore's burst of Orientalism were the Bright Family mausolea located on the outskirts of Sheffield. Isaac Bright (1763-1849) was a Jew, probably of Sephardi origin, who made good and married out of the faith into one of the leading steel making families of Sheffield.67 In 1831 he acquired a plot of land out at Hollow Meadows, Rodmoor,68 the same year as the official Sheffield Jewish cemetery was established at Bowden Street. This suggests that the Brights and the Jewish community had already parted company. Nevertheless, the attendance of a rabbi from Manchester at the funeral of Isaac Bright's grand? son Augustus in 188069 implies that Rodmoor was consecrated ground. The Bright plot at Rodmoor came to consist of five main monuments, four of which were in the most unusual shape of a beehive (I have found no other examples), respectively marking the graves of Isaac's second son Selim Bright (d. 8 January 1891) and his wife Estella nee de Lara (of the Manchester Sephardi family; d. 20 August 1878), and two of their sons including the aforementioned Augustus (d. 1 November 1880). It is thought 65 JC^ Nov. 1904. 66 Bedoire (see n. 61) 117. 67 E. Lipson, 'The Brights of Market Place' Transactions, of the Hunter Archaeological Society VI 3 (1947) 117-25. Handwritten Bright family tree and other genealogical information in margin on copy in possession of the owners of the second Bright Mausoleum at Moscar, Sheffield, S6 (see n.70 below), copy in SJBH Archive; G. H. B. Ward, 'Robert Doleman and Horatio Bright' Sheffield Clarion Ramblers booklet No. 25 (1925-6), repr. with comments, Sheffield Daily Telegraph 14 Nov. 1923; N. Bradley, 'Horatio Bright of Lydgate Hall' in series 'Sheffield Characters' [two parts] The Sheffield Spectator Aug. 1966 and Sept.[?] 1966, n.p.; accessed 31 Oct. 2010. 68 According to Lipson (see n. 67) 118. 69 Ibid. 122. Not reported in^C. 82</page><page sequence="25">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 Plate io The Sassoon Mausoleum, Paston Place, Kemp Town, Brighton, 1892 Photo: Nigel Corrie ? English Heritage that some other members of the extended Bright family were also buried at Rodmoor, the earliest interment being in 1848. Rodmoor was marked as 'Jews' Burial Ground' on maps of the area from the 1830s to the 1860s. It seems that this burial ground was desecrated and badly vandalized in the 1980s, but it has proved impossible to gain access to confirm its current con? dition (it involves crossing the private land of an uncooperative farmer who appears to have annexed the burial plot; the current legal status of owner? ship is unclear).70 At the end of the century another grandee had the means to indulge in a little Orientalist fantasy. The Sassoon Mausoleum in Paston Place, Brighton (1892; Plate 10), is the only Jewish monument of this type constructed in a populated area, contrary both to halakhah and Home Office regulations. In this case, a precedent existed in India. The Sassoon family mausoleum in the courtyard of the Ohel David Synagogue (1863) at Poona had been erected by David Sassoon (1792-1864), progenitor of the Bahgdadi-born dynasty of 70 On the substantial but architecturally less interesting Bright mausoleum at nearby Moscar, see Kadish (see n. i) 173. The deeds, showing that this land was acquired from the Duke of Norfolk in 1895, were in the possession of the present owners in 2002. It is marked on the OS sheet Derbyshire VII SE, 2nd edn 1893. 83</page><page sequence="26">Sharman Kadish merchant princes of India.71 His eldest son, Sir Albert (Abdullah David) Sassoon, built the mausoleum in Brighton and was buried there with other members of his family. The remains were removed and the site deconse? crated in 1933.72 The distinctive structure (Grade II Listed and restored as part of the Kemp Town Regeneration Scheme), with its trumpet-shaped dome, lobed entrance arch, blind arcades and lotus-leaf parapet, rivals in exoticism the Brighton Pavilion itself. Albert Sassoon's India connection was more genuine than that of the Prince Regent. The twentieth century The 1922 Ohel in the Jewish section (1906) of the Bournemouth East Cemetery at Boscombe, built of limestone ashlars, features tapering buttress turrets at the four corners, decorated with curly scroll copings.73 Its architect has not been identified. Perhaps he was influenced by Charles Chipiez's Egyptian inspired reconstructions of Solomon's Temple published in Paris in 188974 and in an English edition in 1890.75 Chipiez was used to illustrate the entry on the 'Temple, Second' in the American Jewish Encyclopedia of 1901-6.76 Tapering monumental pylons topped by wavy Assyrian 'horns' dominated his Temple reconstructions. This motif found its way into synagogue architec? ture in the Habsburg Empire, especially in Slovakia and Galicia, and reached the Middle East (see the Cairo Synagogue and the Herzliya Gymnasium in Jaffa). In the East End of London, Joseph (Ernest Joseph, 1877-1960, Nathan's son) &amp; Smithem's Mocatta House in Brady Street, a mansion block of 1905, sports a pair of attached pylons flanking the main entrance.77 These are made of alternating bands of red brick and yellow (artificial?) stone. The Arts and Crafts style of this building contains hints of Continental Art Nouveau. It may 71 Encyclopaedia Judaica; New Dictionary of National Biography entry on 'Sassoon family' by Serena Kelly; S. Weil (ed.) India's Jewish Heritage (Mumbai 2002). 72 The Times 26, 28 Oct. 1896 (obituary); JC 2 Sept. 1949; Brighton Herald 29 Aug. 1949; regis? tered with the Borough Council Bye Laws on 5 Feb. 1891 as a 'Smoking lounge', East Sussex Record Office, DB/D7/2707, traced by B. Bowman; N. Pevsner, Buildings of England: Sussex, (Harmsworth 1965) 448-9; N. Antram and R. Morris, Brighton ?9 Hove: Pevsner Architectural Guides (New Haven and London 2008) 146. 73 Kadish(seen. 1)81. 74 C. Chipiez and G. Perrot, Le Temple de Jerusalem et la Maison du Bois-Liban restituees d'apres Ezechiel et le Livre des Rois (Paris 1889); see S. R. Kravtsov, 'Reconstruction of the Temple by Charles Chipiez and its Applications in Architecture' Arsjudaica IV (2008) 25-42. 75 C. Chipiez and G. Perrot, History of Art in Sardinia, Judaea, Syria and Asia Minor ed. and trans. J. Gonino (London 1890) vol. 1. 76 Kravtsov (see n. 74) 26-7. 77 Identified by C. O'Brien, Pevsner Architectural Guides: London East (New Haven and London i995) 58i. 84</page><page sequence="27">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 also owe something to Chipiez. I know of no synagogue designs in Britain of the 1900s or later that were inspired by him. Nor is there anything to compare with the opulent Art Nouveau tile-clad Jewish tombs to be found in Budapest (especially those created by the Jewish architect Bela Lajta).78 Where mildly Jugendstil-inspired gravestones occur in Britain they invariably belong to Central European refugees, for example in the Liberal Jewish Cemetery, Pound Lane, Willesden, opened in 1914.79 Ernest Joseph's Ohel (1913-1480) at Willesden is an unremarkable, free classical single-storey red-brick box with a hipped clay-tile roof and round-headed windows in metal frames filled with frosted glass. Its architecture may have been standard, but the contents most certainly were not. The building contains an elaborate walk-in columbarium complete with urns stored in niches, contrary to Orthodox Jewish practice. It remains the only full-blown example in the country. The advent of cremation and its growing popularity from the beginning of the twentieth century may not be ignored completely in relation to Anglo Jewry, although this means of disposal of the dead was taken up only in Reformist circles. Usually, Reform cremations are commemorated by simple wall plaques, either inside the Ohel or in the open air. The association of cre? matoria with the Nazi Holocaust during the Second World War helps explain the lack of popularity of this practice among Jews. In the mid-nineteenth century the German-born Jewish architect Edward Salomons (1827-1906), based in Manchester, designed two synagogues in Oriental style. He also married twice outside the community and designed the first crematorium building (1891-2) in the city at Manchester's Southern Cemetery (H. J. Pauli, 1890). Salomons's business partner Alfred Steinthal (1859/60-1928) was a German Unitarian, probably of Jewish origin. They 'chose Byzantine and a bright yellow terracotta to distance it from the established, or indeed any other church'.81 The campanile disguises the chimney. When he died in 1906 Salomons was himself cremated at the Southern Cemetery. A Unitarian min? ister conducted the funeral service.82 The Jewish Chronicle did not honour him with an obituary, merely noting, with some exaggeration: 'Mr Edward Salomons, FRIBA, who died on Saturday in Manchester, was born a Jew, but never identified himself with the Jewish community'.83 78 See Jacobs (see n. 5) 143-7. 79 JC 18 Sept., 2 Oct. 1914; Kadish (see n. 1)51-2. 80 Information supplied by Bryan Diamond, Archivist to the Liberal Jewish Synagogue (LJS), quoting a letter in LJS Cemetery Minute Book, Sept. 1913. 81 Hartwell (see n. 48) 60; see also 413. 82 No documentary evidence has come to light that Salomons actually converted to Unitarianism. In the 1850s, according to a contemporary, assimilated German Jewish merchants were 'hesi? tating between Unitarianism and Judaism'; B. Williams, The Making of Manchester Jewry (Manchester 1976) 196. 83 JC 18 May 1906. 85</page><page sequence="28">Sharman Kadish Resistance to figurative art in the cemetery, especially to sculpted like? nesses of the deceased, endured in Britain's Jewish community, which remained overwhelmingly Orthodox throughout the nineteenth century, at least nominally. At Brady Street Cemetery in the East End of London is to be found a single nineteenth-century example of a bust, erected on one of the faces of a pedestal grave monument - all the more remarkable because it depicts a woman. The inscription is now obscured, but the grave has been identified as that of Miriam Levey (1801-56), the wife of Moses Levey. She was a welfare worker who opened the first Jewish soup kitchens in the East End.84 At the Liberal Jewish Cemetery in Willesden the almost complete absence of Hebrew tombstone inscriptions is striking, attesting to the cultural assim? ilation of its residents in life. However, the taboo on figurative sculpture in the Jewish cemetery, as in the synagogue, remained largely intact in the twentieth century. Britain has no equivalent of the proliferation of medal? lions, busts, sculpture and even photographs to be found on the prewar tombs of assimilated European Jews, for example in Paris, Prague (New Jewish Cemetery at Zizkov) or St Petersburg.85 At Willesden, the grave of Benno Elkan (1877-1960) and his wife Hedwig is marked by the fine crouch? ing figure of a weeping woman, made of bronze on a granite plinth. The sculptor himself probably designed his own memorial. It is a rare exception. In Anglo-Jewish funerary architecture Art Deco and Moderne influence is extremely rare. The large whitewashed brick-and-concrete Ohel with rounded 'Bauhaus' corners at Dublin's Dolphin's Barn Jewish Cemetery is probably genuinely of the period, by an unidientified architect (Plate 11). The cemetery itself dates from 1898.86 At Sheffield's Ecclesfield Jewish Cemetery (New Section) by the little-known architects Wynyard Dixon, the Ohel was built in 1931-2 (Plate 12).87 This building, of yellow brick, with a flat roof and unusual shoulder-headed windows, stands out on account of its size and workmanship as one of the better twentieth-century Ohalim in the country. Digby Solomon's (Lewis's son, 1884-1962) red-brick Ohel complex at Rainham Federation Cemetery (1938) is built in Renaissance style, testimony to the general preference for classicism in the interwar period, echoed by Jews. It features a semi-circular arcade connecting the two prayer halls, bisected by a central pathway linking the buildings to a monumental arched gateway on Upminster Road North. The precedent for arcaded Renaissance cemetery complexes had been set by the Weissensee Cemetery in Berlin, 84 Photographs in Kadish (see n. i) 25-7. 85 See Jarrasse (see n. 50), Pafik (see n. 16), Jacobs (see n. 5). 86 Shillman (see n. 13) 132; 6 Aug. 1898. 87 JC 11 Sept. 1931, 9 Sept. 1932. 86</page><page sequence="29">Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656 Plate 11 Dolphin's Barn Jewish Cemetery, Dublin, 1898, the Ohel Photo and ? Nigel Corrie j^^^^^^^^^^?^ ^^^^^ ^ ^^^^p Plate 12 Ecclesfield Jewish Cemetery. Sheffield, Ohel by Wynyard Dixon 1931-2, interior Photo: Bob Skingle ? English Heritage 87</page><page sequence="30">Sharman Kadish which lays claim to being the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe. Weissensee was designed by Hugo Licht in 1878-9, after an architectural competition which has been noted as 'Presumably ... the first competition ever arranged for finding a design for a Jewish cemetery'.88 No such competition has ever been held in Britain. Digby's scheme at Rainham was a little more modest in comparison and, by the 1930s, passe as well. In 1927 Wilhelm Haller was experimenting with a theatrical Art Deco Orientalism for a new Ohel in Leipzig; he later became a leading exponent of the International Style in Tel Aviv. One of Erich Mendelsohn's few Jewish commissions before escaping from Nazi Germany was a cemetery complex, conceived as a series of cubic blocks, at K?nigsberg (afterwards Kaliningrad).89 After the Second World War, Mendelsohn's Park Synagogue in Cleveland, Ohio (1946-53), and Frank Lloyd Wright's Beth Sholom in Elkins Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1954-7), introduced the sculptural 'tent of meeting' (Ohel Mo 'ed) or 'Mount Sinai' motifs into synagogue archi? tecture.90 In Britain the tent theme was taken up in funerary architecture. After all, the Hebrew word Ohel literally means a 'tent'. The first United Synagogue cemetery opened after the war, in 194791 at Bushey, Little Bushey Lane, Hertfordshire, and that at Waltham Abbey, Essex, opened in i96092; both feature a series of Ohalim. The all-over honeycomb patterning in concrete at the former is reminiscent of giant beehives; the main interest of the latter is the floor-to-ceiling glazing with vertical glazing bars. The part timbered Ohel (c. 1980s) at the Adath's cemetery at Silver Street, Cheshunt, Hertfordshire (1963), seems to rise organically like a pitched tent out of the ground. Architect-designed Ohalim are rare. Throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, new Ohalim generally remain functional single-storey brick-built structures, with a simple doorway at each end for entry and exit of the hearse. (A lavish exception is Whitefield Hebrew Congregation's yellow-brick Ohel complex at Phillips Park, Manchester M45 (2000), which is adorned with patterned leaded lights, but is architecturally unadventurous.93) Older Ohalim have often been abandoned as too costly to maintain or, in thriving communities, are simply replaced. Paradoxically, Jewish cemeteries symbolize both continuity and flux, reflecting the way Jews both live and die in many countries of the Diaspora and then move on, until the coming of the Messiah at the End of Days. 88 Knufinke, 'Temples of Jewish Mourning' (see n. 50) 7 and Figs 13 and 14; Jacobs (see n. 5) 124-9. 89 Knufinke, 'Temples of Jewish Mourning' (see n. 50) 8-9 and Figs 17-23; Jacobs (see n. 5) 124-9. 90 Both illustrated in colour in S. G. Gruber, American Synagogues (New York 2003) 84-91 and 104-9; H- anu D- Stolzman, Synagogue Architecture in America (Mulgrave, Victoria, Australia 2004) 74-7 (Wright only). 91 JCS Sept. 1947. 92 JC 23 Sept. 1960. The series of three Ohalim date from the opening of the cemetery. 93 JC 30 June 2000. 88</page></plain_text>

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