London's East End Synagogues, cemeteries and more......

My personal journey through the Jewish East End of London


Views of Brady Street cemetery, London E1

Reading Mrs Levy's memorial insciption, Brady Street CemeteryBrady Street cemetery is hidden at the back of a car park entrance to a block of flats.  Walk a few hundred yards North from Brady Street's junction with the Whitechapel Road and it is on your left hand side.  You'll spot the ancient boundary wall first.  Walk past this and turn left into the car park and you will see the entrance gate.  Entry is by appointment with the United Synagogue burial authority.  Brady Street opened in 1761 and closed in 1858.  As the cemetery filled up it was decided to place a 4ft deep layer of soil in the centre of the site to enable further burials to take place. In this raised plateau area the headstones of existing burials and those subsequently buried above them are placed back to back.  The cemetery contains some famous occupants - notably Nathan Mayer Rothschild - founder of the British branch of the celebrated banking dynasty. He died in 1836 and is buried next to his wife Hannah. Their tombs are inscribed with words eulogising their lives.  Hannah's tomb has a particularly clever inscription on it - the consonants that spell her Hebrew name are inscribed in large Hebrew characters.  The small Hebrew characters attached to them use these consonants to begin Hebrew words which translate to: 'I am here, praise the Lord' - appropriate sentiments for one's journey into the next World!  See photo below left.

In the 1980's the local Council contemplated placing a compulsory purchase order on the site so that it could be redeveloped.  The law is that if no internments have taken place for 100 years then a cemetery may have its occupants removed and the site redeveloped - a disaster for London's Jewish Heritage. To protect the site from this vandalism a one off internment was carried out, and in 1990 Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild (1910 - 1990),  the third Baron Rothschild, was buried next to his illustrious ancestor.  See photo below right.  The site is now safe until 2090.

Inscription on Hannah Rothschild's tomb, Brady Street cemetery

Hannah's inscription spells the consonants in her name in large characters. The small Hebrew characters next to them use these consonants to begin Hebrew words which translate to: 'I am here, praise the Lord'. Clever stuff!

Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild's (1910-1990) pink granite tomb lies adjacent to his ancestors Nathan & Hannah Rothschild

More views of Brady Street cemetery are below:

Brady Street cemetery

Brady Street cemetery

Brady Street cemetery - the grave of Hannah Hyams of 53 Gower Street

Brady Street cemetery - note the depiction of a harp on the middle headstone

The graves of Nathan Mayer Rothschild (1771 - 1836) and his wife Hannah. Nathan Myer founded the British branch of the Rothschild banking dynasty

The headstone of Philip Harris, ship owner of Shadwell, who died age 42 in 1844

Also, click Alderney Road Cemetery to see photos from this other historic Jewish cemetery just down the road in Mile End.

copyright Philip Walker