the former

Western Synagogue

London W1


Page created: 28 October 2006
Latest update or revision: 8 May 2017

Congregation Data


The Western Synagogue

Current Status:

Merged in 1991 with The Marble Arch Synagogue to form The Western Marble Arch Synagogue of 32 Great Cumberland Place, London W1


●  1957-1991 - Crawford Street, Marylebone, London W1

●  1947-1957 - Carton Hall (the former "Royal Chapel of the French Exile"), Carton Street, George Street, Marylebone, London W1. (Carton Street was a little mews, adjoining Portman Square.)

●  1943-1947 - Max Rosin Hall (the adjoining "shop" to Grotrian Hall), Wigmore Street, London W1

●  1943 - Grotrian Hall, Wigmore Street, London W1 (1943, destroyed by a German incendiary raid within six months.)

●  1941-1943 - in temporary accommodation. Initially, in 1941, as guests (for a token fee) of the Central Synagogue, Great Portland Street. When, six months later, their building was destroyed by a German bombing raid, both congregation relocated temporarily to Woburn House, Tavistock Square, London WC1, the headquarters of the United Synagogue.

●  1915-1941 - Alfred Place, Bedford Square, London WC1, destroyed in a German bombing raid, which killed 27 Victims sheltering in the basement of the adjoining Girls' Club (also used as the synagogue building of the West Central Liberal Synagogue), including members of the synagogue and their families.

●  1914-1915 - 40 Whitfield Street, Tottenham Court Road, London W1 (temporary)

●  1826-1914 - St. Alban's Place, Haymarket, London SW1 (St. Alban's Place no longer exists and is part of the site of the Carlton Theatre in the Haymarket.)

●  1797-1826 - Building in Denmark Court, Strand, London WC2 that had, until 1797, been leased to the dramatist and musician, Charles Dibdin, as the Sans Souci Theatre (prior to that theatre's relocation to the vicinity of Leicester Square). It had previously been occupied as a picture gallery by the Royal Academy and by the Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Polygraphic Society.

●  1774-1797 - Bedford Row, Denmark Court, Strand, London WC2

●  1765-1774 - Back Alley, Denmark Court, Strand, London WC2

●  From approximately 1761-1765 - Great Pulteney Street, Soho, London W1 - home of Wolf Liepman


Note: Denmark Court stood on the present site of the Strand Palace Hotel, and was one of several small courts east of Southampton Street, which were cleared away at the time of the Strand alterations in 1830 and incorporated in the present Exeter Street.


Founded 1761

Initial name: Hebra Kaddisha shel Gemillith Hassadim, Westminster or Holy Congregation of the Assembly of Israel of Westminster (or the Westminster Congregation) until 1832

Also known as St James Synagogue from about 1826 to about 1914.


Ashkenazi Orthodox


The Western Synagogue had been independent from its inception until the merger.

(Since the merger, The Western Marble Arch Synagogue was been an associate synagogue of the United Synagogue - the only synagogue with such status).

Secessionist Congregation:

In 1810, a secessionist movement established a rival congregation initially in Dean Street (known in Hebrew as the Amudae Yesharim Congregation) and was later re-established in Maiden Lane. Re-union took place in 1907, with the closure of the
Maiden Lane Synagogue.

Membership Data:

1845 - 48 ba'alai batim and 210 seatholders (Chief Rabbi's Questionnaire)

Local Government District:

All the above previous addresses for the Western Synagogue (apart from Whitfield Street, Alfred Place and Woburn House) are currently in the City of Westminster (a London Borough established in 1965) in Greater London.

Whitfield Street, Alfred Place and Woburn House are now in the London Borough of Camden, but were previously, from 1900 to 1965, in the former Metropolitan Borough of Holborn (established 1900), within the former County of London (established 1889).

Previously, all other addresses for the congregation since 1914 were in the former Metropolitan Borough of St Marylebone (established 1900), within the former County of London.

All addresses for the congregation until 1914 were in the former Metropolitan Borough of Westminster (established 1900, also known as the City of Westminster, but smaller in area than the present London Borough) within the former County of London. Prior to 1900, such addresses were within the Liberty of the City of Westminster, the local authority being the Westminster Court of Burgesses, which was part of the former county of Middlesex until 1899. Until their formal abolition in 1922, Great Pulteney Street and St Alban's Place were in the Civil Parish of St James and Denmark Court was in the Civil Parish of St Martin in the Fields.

Registration Districts:

Former St Marylebone addresses

From 1 July 1837 - Marylebone
From 1 January 1902 - St Marylebone
Since 1 January 1978 - Westminster

Other Westminster addresses

From 1 July 1837:
  (i) Strand - for civil parish of St Martins in the Field;
  (ii) St James Westminster (renamed Westminster on 1 July 1870) - for civil parish of St James.
From 1 July 1913 - St Martin
From 1 October 1933 - City of Westminster
Since 1 April 1965 - Westminster

Former Holborn/Camden addresses

From 1 July 1837 - Holborn
From 1 April 1965 - St Pancras
Since 1 July 1977 - Camden


Search the All-UK Databasee

The records in the database specifically associated with this congregation include:


Bancroft Road Cemetery, 1811 - 1854 (Maiden Lane Synagogue), (A number of records included in the Pre-1850 London Jews Database);
Brompton Cemetery, Fulham Road
(Western Synagogue), (25 records with surname Isaac or Isaacs);
Edmonton Cemetery (Western Synagogue), (22 records with surname Isaac or Isaacs).

For a list of other London records in the Database that may also include records associated with this congregation, click here.


On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation


Other Congregation Information

  • Synagogue & Other Records:

    • Marriage Registers - The following Marriage Registers (other than register currently in use) (see also Western Marble Arch Synagogue Registers):

      • Western Synagogue 1837-1914 (first entry 13 September 1837; last entry 13 June 1914)

      • Western Synagogue 1841-1991 (first entry 15 June 1941; last entry 20 January 1991)

      are deposited with:
         Westminster Register Office
         Westminster Council House
         Marylebone Road, London NW1 5PT
         Tel: (+44) 20 7941 1161/2/3
         Fax: (+44) 20 7641 1246
         email: registeroffice@westminster.gov.uk
         website: www.westminster.gov.uk/registrar

  • Bibliography:

    • History of the Western Synagogue. Levy, M, 1897

    • Records of the Western Synagogue 1761-1932. Roth, C. 1932 (Edward Goldston)

    • The Western Synagogue through Two Centuries (1761-1961). Barnett, A.,
      1961 (Valentine Mitchell, London)

    • The Western Synagogue 1961 to 1991. Sidney Jaque

    • The Synagogues of London. Lindsay, P., 1993 (Valentine Mitchell, London)  pp. 66-68

    • The Lost Synagogues of London. Renton, P., 2000 (Tymsder Publications, London)  pp. 48/57

    • other City of Westminster sources

    • other London sources

  • Cemetery Information (IAJGS Cemeteries Project):

List of Synagogues destroyed by
German air raids during World War II

Jewish Congregations in the London Borough of the City of Westminster

Jewish Congregations in Greater London

Greater London home page



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