The southern end of Old Jewry at its junction with Poultry
|Length||145 m (476 ft)|
|Location||London, United Kingdom|
|Known for||Location of medieval Jewish ghetto|
William the Conqueror encouraged Jews to come to England soon after the Norman Conquest; some settled in cities throughout his new domain, including in London. According to Reverend Moses Margoliouth, Old Jewry was a ghetto. Ghettos, areas of a city mainly or exclusively populated by Jews, were common across Europe. In 2001, archaeologists discovered a mikveh (ritual bath) near to Old Jewry, on the corner of Gresham Street and Milk Street, under what is now the State Bank of India. It would have fallen into disuse after 1290, when the Jews were expelled from England.
On the west side of Old Jewry is St Olave Old Jewry; only the tower of this church survives. When it was destroyed in 1887, a Roman pavement and vases were discovered. Jewen Street, not far away, off Aldersgate, still existed in 1722. According to Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopaedia, this was the only permitted burial ground for Jews. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the Jewish quarter in 13th century London extended from Jewen Street in the north, by St Giles-without-Cripplegate, to Poultry in the south. Also nearby is St Lawrence Jewry, a Church of England guild church on Gresham Street, next to the Guildhall.
Thomas Rowlandson was born on Old Jewry in 1756.
There was a Dissenting chapel in Old Jewry in the 1700s. Richard Price, minister of Newington Green Unitarian Church, was also the afternoon preacher here from 1763. Joseph Fawcett spoke there from 1785, when he began a series of Sunday evening lectures which drew "the largest and most genteel London audience that ever assembled in a dissenting place of worship".
The street now contains mainly offices for financial companies.
- Robinson, William (1842). The history and antiquities of the parish of Stoke Newington in the county of Middlesex: containing an account of the prebendal manor, the church, charities, schools, meeting houses, &c., with appendices .... J.B. Nichols and Son. p. 95.
- Monthly Repository (1817), 90.
- Medieval Old Jewry
- Jewish guide to Britain
- Roman pavement
- Chambers Encyclopedia
- Richard Price