Hoxton Old Burial Ground 1707 – 1960

In 1960 the Hoxton Jewish Cemetery was destroyed, the remains were reinterred at West Ham Jewish Cemetery and that was that.

When we photographed the area allocated at West Ham Jewish Cemetery (see here and here ) for those moved from their original burial place, we wondered whether there were any photos of the original burial ground, something that showed what the cemetery had looked like; something that showed a rather more dignified scene than West Ham’s re-worked paths.  Had photos been taken before its destruction? Had any of the visitors to our site been to the cemetery? Did they remember what it looked like?

The cemetery was described as:  a peaceful place where birch and fig trees grow amid 500 graves. A pathway around the gravestones which were weathered and mostly illegible and footstones appearing amongst the flower beds, but of course photos would complete the picture!

David Jacobs responded to our appeal and has kindly provided photos from his collection and, with his permission, we are delighted to be able to publish them here. The photos depict a tranquil scene much as provided by the description above. Many standing stones and an area to the right with what appear to have been intentionally flat stones. Rougly 11 rows counting from Left to right. One photos shows at least 2 tombstones, both upright and with what look to be clear inscriptions, sadly there is insufficient detail in these old photos to be able to read the inscription.

The plaque shown in the photo below says: “United Synagogue. Hoxton Cemetery 1707 – 1878. The burial Society of the United Synagogue repaired in he year 1929 – 5689 all existing tombstones in this cemetery. A record of the names so far as they were decipherable may be seen in the archives department of the United Synagogue 2-3 St Jame’s Place. EC3. Joseph Prag, Larence Levy, Treasures of the Burial Society.”

CemeteryScribes.com lists all those recorded along with min-family trees, where it has been possible to trace the genealogies.

Click here for CemeteryScribes’  Hoxton lists and here for a short history of Hoxton Old Burial Ground.

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7 Responses

  1. Brian Ekins says:

    Dear Sir/Madam, can you possibly please tell me, in the early 1950’s, did the Jewish Burial Ground in Hoxton Street, N1 lay between Burbage school and Hoxton House school. As an ex pupil of Burbage, I believe that it did. Many others say that Burbage school was never in Hoxton Street. Any information would be very helpful.
    Regards. B Ekins

  2. ADMIN says:

    Sorry but we don’t know the answer to that, hopefully someone seeing this will though.
    Best regards

  3. P.hulbert says:

    I also went to Burbage School in Hoxton during early 50’s. The cemetery to which you refer was in the area between Burbage and Hoxton House I believe. I remember quite clearly lookin out of school staircase window one day to see the graves being removed. The graves were each enclosed by black sheets whilst work was being carried out. I think the cemetery was quite close to one of our playgrounds. I cannot be absolutely sure of the year but it must have been around early 60’s. Hope this is of some help to you.

  4. ADMIN says:

    Thank you for the additional info, and yes all is useful. You have certainly answered the previous enquiry.

  5. James Laskey says:

    Dear Sir/Madam
    I went to Shoreditch Central School from 1955 – 1959 although it changed to Shoreditch Comprehensive in about 1958 when a larger school was built on Falkirk Street.
    I remember the cemetary well as it backed onto the old school playground, when playing football the
    ball would sometimes go into the cemetary and we would climb over the wall to retrieve it this was done
    very quickly as it felt quite spooky, the cemetary fronted onto Hoxton Street.
    I think Burbage was a seperate building on the old school complex.
    Best regards

  6. kath rogers says:

    This is very interesting I didn’t know it excited I was born 1947 in haggerston hse

  7. Terence boniface says:

    Vert interesting details,I had forgotten about that cemetery.

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