Exeter Hebrew Congregation

& Jewish Community

Exeter, Devon




Page created: 20 September 2003
Latest revision or update: 13 September 2017

City of Exeter

The city of Exeter is situated on the river Exe in South West England and has a population of about 115,000.  It was a county borough from 1889 until 1974, when it became a local government district of the county of Devon, of which it is the county town. 

Exeter Synagogue
Exeter Synagogue exterior
ęDavid Shulman 2016
Exeter Synagogue
Exeter Synagogue interior
ęDavid Shulman 2016

The Exeter Jewish Community

There was a Medieval Jewish community in Exeter, expelled in 1290. The modern Exeter Jewish community dates back to the mid-eighteenth century. The community's synagogue built in 1763, is the third oldest extant synagogue in the United Kingdom and the second oldest Ashkenazi Synagogue in the English-speaking world (only Plymouth Synagogue, built 1762, is older).


Some Basic Congregation Data


Exeter Hebrew Congregation


Synagogue Place, Mary Arches Street, Exeter EX4 3BA. The building underwent extensive renovations and was rededicated on 11 July 1999.
The synagogue is a Grade II* Listed Building, listed on 29 January 1953 (number 1273591). See Historic England Listing & Description.

Date Founded:

Built in 1763, consecrated in 1764, refronted 1835, the second oldest extant synagogue in the UK outside London.


Combination of Ashkenazi orthodox, Reform, Liberal, Masorti and occasionally others. It endeavours to cater to all shades of Judaism, alternately holding progressive and traditional services, frequently with visiting rabbis.






See List of Religious Officials of Exeter Synagogue

Registration District (BDM):

Devon (from 1 April 2007) - Link to Register Office website.

Previous Registration District:
   Exeter - from 1 July 1837 until 1 April 2007.

   (All records would now be held by current office.)

Worship Number: 20929


Click below to enter:

Exeter Synagogue Archive

The Archives include:

Exeter Synagogue


Also click below for:

Susser Archive

The extensive documents and papers of the late Rabbi Dr. Bernard Susser, historian of the Jews of South West England, placed in the care of Frank J Gent, which have been donated to JCR-UK.


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to the Exeter Jewish Community


on third party's website

  • Jewish Encyclopaedia article on Exeter by Joseph Jacobs, c-1906.


Search the All-UK Database

The records in the database associated with Exeter include:


1838 - 1907  (35 records)


1841; 1851; 1861 Exeter (286 records)

1851 Anglo Jewry Database includes also Exmouth (12 miles to the south) (updated 2016)

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in:
Exeter during the 1760s (1 record); 1780s (3 records); 1790s (4records); 1800s (11 records); 1810s (28 records); 1820s (46 records), 1830s (51 records), 1840s (144 records), 1850s (170 records), 1860s (65 records), 1870s (16 records), 1880s (7 records), 1890s (1 record) and 1900s (1 record); and
Exmouth during the 1830s (3 records) and 1880s (2 records). 


Exeter Jewish Cemeteries Information

The Exeter Jewish community has two Jewish cemeteries

  • The Old Jews' Burial Ground, Bulls Meadow, Magdalen Street, Exeter. The Cemetery dates from 1757, although the freehold was not acquired until 1977. Contains over 110 documented burials.
    The walls of the cemetery is a Grade II Listed Building, listed on 26 July 1973 (number 1273651). See Historic England Listing & Description.

    Exeter Old Jewish Cemetery 
    Exeter Old Jewish Burial Ground - ęDavid Shulman 2016

    Articles on JCR-UK:

  • The Jewish Section of the Exwick Cemetery, Exwick Road, Exwick, Exeter. The earliest burial dates from 1992.

    Exwick Cemetery Jewish Section
    Exwick Cemetery Jewish Section - ęDavid Shulman 2016

    Article on JCR-UK:

(See also IAJGS International Jewish Cemeteries Project - Exeter)


Exeter Synagogue Membership Data

1845 - 14 ba'alai batim and 6 seatholders (Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire)
1851 - 175 individual members (ibid.)
1852 - 21 seatholders (Board of Deputies Return)
1860 - 16 seatholders (Board of Deputies Return)
1870 - 13 seatholders (Board of Deputies Return)
1880 - 6 seatholders (Board of Deputies Return)
1896 - 8 seatholders  (Jewish Year Book 1896/97)
1900 - 10 seatholders (Board of Deputies Return); 6 seatholders  (Jewish Year Book 1900/01)
1999 - 50 members (Board of Deputies)


Exeter Jewish Population Data


30 familes (175-200 individuals)

(The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth)

Jewish Congregations in Devon

Jewish Communities of England home page

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