Bevis Marks Synagogue
This hidden gem in the City of London is Britain’s oldest synagogue, opened in 1701. Designed by master builder Joseph Avis, the style was influenced both by Wren City churches and the Portuguese Great Synagogue of Amsterdam, the parent congregation of the English Sephardim.
Bevis Marks Synagogue, officially Qahal Kadosh Sha’ar ha-Shamayim, is the oldest synagogue in the United Kingdom in continuous use. It is located off Bevis Marks, Aldgate, in the City of London. The synagogue was built in 1701 and is affiliated to London’s historic Spanish and Portuguese Jewish community
The Grade I listed Bevis Marks Synagogue, on the borders of the City and the Borough of Tower Hamlets in London, is the Cathedral Synagogue of the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardic Jews. Finished in 1701 it was the first synagogue to be built following the re-settlement of Jews in England in the second half of the 17th Century.
It is the oldest synagogue still in use in the United Kingdom and has witnessed the daily worship, festivals, the celebration of births, marriages and funerals of generations of Sephardic Jews; it has survived the threat of demolition, the shock waves of Luftwaffe and IRA bombs and the upheaval of mass construction, to stand as a symbol of resilience and tradition in a changing world.
The Bevis Marks Synagogue collection contains a thousand beautiful, ornate works of art and craftsmanship, including Torah scrolls, ritual silver items, vestments, books and furniture. It is the oldest and most complete collection of any Jewish establishment in the UK and one of the most complete in Europe.