David Mocatta

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David Mocatta
Born 1806
Died 1 May 1882(1882-05-01)
South Kensington, London
Nationality British
Occupation Architect
Buildings Montefiore Synagogue, Brighton Regency Synagogue
Projects Stations for the London and Brighton Railway

David Mocatta (1806–1882) was a British architect and a member of the Anglo-Jewish Mocatta family.


Mocatta's station at Brighton (1841)
Synagogue and tomb of Moses Montefiore in Ramsgate

Mocatta studied in London from 1821 to 1827 under Sir John Soane[1][2] and then travelled in Italy.[1]

Mocatta was the architect of the London and Brighton Railway,[3] designing seven italianate railway stations. Mocatta also designed balustrades and a set of eight Italianate pavilions to ornament John Urpeth Rastrick's Ouse Valley Viaduct for the L&BR.

His synagogue in Ramsgate for Moses Montefiore (1833) was possibly the first in England to be designed by a Jewish architect.[4] The West London Synagogue of British Jews commissioned Mocatta to design both their temporary premises in Burton Street (1841) and their building in Margaret Street (1851). The latter was a substantial structure, seating 400 and costing more than £4,000.[4]

He was elected a Fellow of the Institute of British Architects (later the RIBA) in 1836,[1] and was an early member of its council.[4] In later years he became Senior Trustee of the Soane Museum. He was a founder member of the West London Synagogue eventually becoming chairman of its council.[4] He retired from architecture early, having inherited the family fortunes.[4]

Mocatta House, a modern office development in Trafalgar Place, Brighton is named after him.



  1. ^ a b c Brodie, 2001, page 194
  2. ^ Kadish, 2002
  3. ^ Brighton & Hove Museums, The Royal Pavilion, Libraries & Museums Collections
  4. ^ a b c d e Jamilly, Edward. "Anglo-Jewish Architects and Architecture in the 18th and 19th Centuries" (Paper read before the Jewish Historical Society of England on 8 March 1954). 

Sources and further reading[edit]

  • Brodie, Antonia (2001). Directory of British Architects 1834-1914, L-Z. London & New York: Continuum. p. 194. ISBN 0-8264-5514-X. 
  • Colvin, H.M. (1997). A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07207-4. 
  • Kadish, Sharman (2002). "Construction Identity; Anglo Jewry and Synagogue Architecture". Architectural History 45: 386–408. 
  • Journal of Transport History 3: 149–157. 1958.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society of England 18: 134. 1954.  Missing or empty |title= (help)