Welcome to World Jewish Heritage
Rediscover your heritage like never before
|Location 51.5143°N 0.0909°W|
|Country United Kingdom|
|Open to visitors yes|
|Need appointment no|
|Handicap accessibility no|
|Geographical Coordinates 51.5143,-0.09052|
Old Jewry is a one-way street in the City of London, the historic and financial center of London. It is located within Coleman Street ward and links Poultry to Gresham Street.
The street now contains mainly offices for financial companies. The nearest London Underground station is Bank and the closest mainline railway station is Cannon Street.
History and time period
William the Conqueror encouraged Jews to come to England soon after the Norman Conquest; some settled in cities throughout his new domain, including in London. According to Reverend Moses Margoliouth, Old Jewry was a ghetto. Ghettos, areas of a city mainly or exclusively populated by Jews, were common across Europe. In 2001, archaeologists discovered a mikveh (ritual bath) near to Old Jewry, on the corner of Gresham Street and Milk Street, under what is now the State Bank of India. It would have fallen into disuse after 1290, when the Jews were expelled from England.
On the west side of Old Jewry is St Olave Old Jewry; only the tower of this church survives. When it was destroyed in 1887, a Roman pavement and vases were discovered. Jewen Street, not far away, off Aldersgate, still existed in 1722. According to Ephraim Chambers' Cyclopaedia, this was the only permitted burial ground for Jews. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the Jewish quarter in 13th century London extended from Jewen Street in the north, by St Giles-without-Cripplegate, to Poultry in the south. Also nearby is St Lawrence Jewry, a Church of England guild church on Gresham Street, next to the Guildhall.
Thomas Rowlandson was born on Old Jewry in 1756.