Alderney Road Cemetery is the oldest Ashkenazi Jewish cemetery in the UK, which opened in 1697. Most tombstones are inscribed in Hebrew, some now decayed; the older section in the north has a central path beside which are many fine chest tombs of the wealthy and well-known people buried here. A granite plaque inside is inscribed with the words: 'Within this cemetery lie the mortal remains of the founders, lay readers and rabbis of the Ashkenazim community of this country'.
A burial society was set up in 1696 and in 1697 the land for the first cemetery for the Ashkenazim community in London was purchased by a wealthy merchant, Benjamin Levy, who secured a 999-year lease for £190 on a plot of land owned by Captain Nathaniel Owen. The cemetery had a resident caretaker with a house in the grounds, who continued to live here after the cemetery closed to burials in 1852.
Visitor FacilitiesThe site is open to the public by appointment only. Please contact 020 8950 7767.
Detailed DescriptionAlderney Road Cemetery is the oldest Ashkenazi Jewish cemetery in the UK, which opened in 1697. It was extended in 1749 and a granite plaque records that: 'Within this cemetery lie the mortal remains of the founders, lay readers and rabbis of the Ashkenazim community of this country'. The cemetery was closed in 1852 but remained with a resident caretaker. There are many fine tombs and a number of notable trees in the cemetery, which is surrounded by high brick walls.
Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); The United Synagogue website; Cemetery Scribes website, www.cemeteryscribes.com: Marcus Roberts 'History - Alderney Road Jewish Cemetery' (www.jtrails.org.uk); LB Tower Hamlets, 'Carlton Square Conservation Area Character Appraisal and Management Guidelines', October 2007; Dr Sharman Kadish, 'Jewish Heritage in England' (English Heritage, 2006)
For more information see http://www.londongardensonline.org.uk/gardens-online-record.asp?ID=THM003
- Access & Directions
Access Contact DetailsThe site is open to the public by appointment only. Please contact 020 8950 7767.
DirectionsTube: Stepney Green (District/Hammersmith & City). Bus: 25, 205.
London Parks and Gardens Trust