Jews' Court, Lincoln

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Frontage of Jews' Court

Jews' Court is the oldest synagogue in the British Isles. A Norman building on Steep Hill in Lincoln, immediately above Jew's House, it is dated to between 1150 and 1180.[1] It is "probably the only standing medieval synagogue in England"[2] and is a Grade I listed building.

The building is thought to have been used as a synagogue until the expulsion of the entire Jewish community from England in 1290. A niche on the eastern wall currently used as an ark may date from this period.[1][2][3]

In 1910, a well was dug in the basement of the building; the owner subsequently claimed that this was where the body of Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln had been found and charged people to see it.[4]

The building is now owned by the Jews’ Court Trust.[5]

In 1992, Jewish services were restarted in the building and still continue; the remainder of the building operates as a bookshop[6] and as the headquarters of the Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology.[5]

The Lincolnshire Jewish Community, which is affiliated with Liberal Judaism, holds regular shabbat and other services at Jews' Court.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "National Monument Record". Retrieved 19 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Kadish, Sharman (2006). Jewish Architectural Heritage in England. English Heritage. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-905624-28-7. 
  3. ^ Hillaby, Joe (July 1996). "Letter: Early 'synagogue'". British Archaeology (Council for British Archaeology) (16). Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Weil, Eric (September 2003). "Lincolnshire Jewish Community". BBC Lincolnshire. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Jews' Court". About SLHA. Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Jews' Court Bookshop". About SLHA. Society for Lincolnshire History & Archaeology. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Roberts, Marcus. "Trail Lincoln". JTrails: National Anglo-Jewish Heritage Trail. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°13′56″N 0°32′19″W / 53.2322°N 0.5387°W / 53.2322; -0.5387