NORWICH, Norfolk: Print

For Community Information, see Norwich on JCR-UK. Norwich Synagogue, 3 Earlham Road Norwich NR2 3RA

Jewish Encyclopedia. Jewish history. [Mar 2013]

CEMETERY:

"British Jews to bury medieval massacre victims." Jerusalem Post. 03/19/2013. Remains of seventeen bodies discovered at bottom of well in Norwich in 2004 given a Jewish burial; evidence points to violent deaths. BBC 2011 article. [Mar 2013]

Cemetery history: The Hebrew Congregation Cemetery adjoining Talbot Square is the earliest surviving Jewish cemetery in Norwich at northern city center. Located in the Church of England parish of St Martin at Oak, the construction of the Inner Ring Road in the late 1960s effectively cut off the Jewish cemetery from St Martin's so it fits within the St Augustine's area. In 1813, Norwich's small Hebrew Congregation leased a small plot of land in the Gildencroft for a cemetery, the second known Jewish cemetery in the city, succeeding a now lost burial ground in Mariner's Lane, a hillside road off Ber Street to the south of the city center. The Gildencroft plot was acquired in the names of four local Jews: Barnett Crawcour (a Norwich dentist), Henry Carr (a Norwich merchant), Israel Jacobs (a Norwich optician), and Colman Michael (a merchant from the market town of Wymondham in Norfolk). Then, no road or track to the plot was wide enough for a cart or hearse, so coffins had to be carried on the shoulders of pall-bearers down a narrow path from St Martin's Lane. Later this path, known as Quaker Lane because it leads to the Quaker Meeting House and Burial Ground in the Gildencroft, was widened to allow wheeled biers access to the grave side. Probably, bout thirty interments in this cemetery were made during the forty-year period of its use. Interments in the Gildencroft plot ceased in 1854 when a new Burial Act forbad burials in churchyards and cemeteries within the City walls. A new Jewish cemetery was opened in the City Cemetery off Bowthorpe Road in 1856. Although no longer used for interments, a local man employed by the Hebrew Congregation was gardener and caretaker until the 1940s. Now overgrown, it contains the graves of 19th-century Norwich Jewish community's leadiers including Barnett Crawcour, the dentist, who died aged 50 in 5595 (1835 CE), Simon Aaron, a jeweller of Elm Hill, and Lyon Mordecai, also known as Judah Lieb Ben Mordecai, a licensed kosher butcher, who died aged 60 in 5604 (1844 CE)/'.[Mar 2013]

Henry Levine, The Norwich Hebrew Congregation 1840-1960: A Short History. (Published 1961. The Millennium Library's Local Studies Centre at the Forum in Norwich has a copy as rare book) .[Mar 2013]

Ernest A. Kent, 'The Gildencroft in Norwich', in Norfolk Archaeology, vol. XXIX (published 1946) .[Mar 2013]

A Jewish Cemetery in Norwich, not far from the ancient synagogue, was in use from some time after 1177 until 1290.The following is the text of a letter to the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle, published on April 22, 1842: .[Mar 2013]

"As an Israelite, I deem it my duty to call your attention to a subject, as I trust by giving publicity to it in your valuable paper, it may be the means of accomplishing the object I have in view.  I do not know whether you are aware that in Norwich there are two burial grounds belonging to the Jewish nation, one is the property of the congregation; the other situated in Mariners' Lane is a very ancient one, and was granted by the corporation of the said city, about a century and a half ago to Mr. Solomon Levy and his heir, upon payment of ten shillings per annum to the said body.  It appears that the last of the family interred there, was a Mr. Lion Levy, and that was about sixteen years ago.  The annual quit rent, small as it is, has been neglected by the family - the ground has been recently let to a gardener, who has already taken down several grave-stones and made steps of them for his door.  My reason for making this appeal, is merely to state, that if the ground is not shortly reclaimed (the payment would not amount to more than ten pounds), the bodies, at least eight hundred in number, will be disinterred.  I dare say your readers are not aware that this place was the burial ground, until within the last half century, for all the Eastern counties, and I consider that its desecration would reflect a lasting disgrace upon our nation;  I trust that this may meet the eye, not alone of some of the descendants of the possessor, but of the leading men of our community in the metropolis. I am, Yours respectfully, A.A. Levy, 29, Red Lion Square, Spitalfields." [no email. date?]

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 15:36