Exeter Hebrew Congregation

& Jewish Community

Exeter, Devon




Page created: 20 September 2003
Latest revision or update: 23 December 2015

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. 

The Exeter Jewish Community

The Exeter Jewish community dates back to the mid-eighteenth century. The Synagogue of the Exeter Hebrew Congregation, the only Jewish congregation known to have existed in the city, is the third oldest extant synagogue in the United Kingdom.

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

Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Exeter during the 1780s (3 records); 1790s (4 records); 1800s (12 records); 1810s (28 records); 1820s (39 records), 1830s (51 records), 1840s (144 records), 1850s (169 records), 1860s (65 records), 1870s (16 records), 1880s (6 records) and 1890s (1 record).

Basic Congregation Data


Exeter Hebrew Congregation


Synagogue Place, Mary Arches Street, Exeter EX4 3BA (A Grade II listed building)

Date Founded:

1763, 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 with visiting rabbis.



Marriage Certification:

Group for Certification: Board of Deputies
Appears in 1998 General Registrar Official List
Worship Number: 20929
Registration District: Exeter

Membership Data:

1845 - 14 ba'ale batim (The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth)
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)


To enter the Archives of the Exeter Hebrew Congregation, including an History of the Exeter Jewish community and its historic congregation, click below.

Exeter Synagogue Archive



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.

Other On-Line Articles and Lists relating to the Exeter Jewish Community

The Rise of Provincial Jewry - Exeter by Cecil Roth, 1950. Available on-line by JCR-UK as part of the Susser Archive.

Exeter from "Provincial Jewry in Victorian Britain"  - Papers for a conference at University College, London, convened by the Jewish Historical Society of Great Britain, prepared by Aubrey Newman - 6th July 1975.  Reproduced here with his kind consent.

The Jews of South-East England. Rabbi Bernard Susser's 1977 University of Exeter thesis for his PhD degree. Available on-line by JCR-UK as part of the Susser Archive.

Tombstone Inscriptions at Exeter Jews' Cemetery, transcribed by Rabbi Dr. Bernard Susser (a section of Rabbi Susser's "Jewish Tombstone Inscriptions in S. W. England - Studies in Anglo-Jewish History No. 3", which includes an Introduction that also makes reference to Exeter).

Extract of Chief Rabbi's Correspondence for Devon and Cornwall - facimile. Made by Rabbi Susser from the duplicate correspondence books of the Chief Rabbis for the nineteenth century. Available on JCR-UK as part of the Susser Archive.

Press Report on Fire in the Synagogue - August 1876

Exeter Jewish Population Data


30 familes (175-200 individuals)

(The Rise of Provincial Jewry by Cecil Roth)

Other Exeter Jewish Information


Jewish Congregations in Devon

Jewish Communities of England home page

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