Creechurch Lane Synagogue

City of London, London E.C.3.




Page created: 18 August 2006
Latest revision or update: 24 July 2017

Ceramic Plaque on wall of Cunard House at corner of Creechurch Lane and Bury Street,
marking the site of Creechurch Lane Synagogue,
the first synagogue in England following the resettlement of 1656
© David Shulman 2007

Congregation Data


Creechurch Lane Synagogue (the Synagogue of the Spanish & Portugues Jews' Congregation)


5 Creechurch Lane, London EC3A 5DQ

(Location: Creechurch Lane, also Cree-Church Lane (some 400 feet long), in the City of London, runs south from the junction of Bevis Marks and Dukes Place to Leadenhall Street.)

Date Founded:

Lease acquired 16 December 1656 and services commenced January 1657.(i) Building enlarged 1674.(ii) - This was the first synagogue to be established following the readmission of the Jews to England.

Current Status:

Succeeded by the Bevis Marks Synagogue in 1701.

The building then reverted to domestic use subsequently becaming the Parish Workhouse until 1857 and was then demolished.(iii)  A plaque (see above) today marks the site of the former syanagogue.


Sephardi, although, until the establishment of an Askanazi synagogue in 1690, there were a large number of Ashkanazi (or  "Tedescos" as they were referred to by the Sephardi) among the congregants.


Rabbi Samuel Levy - the first Rabbi of the Congregation(iv)

Rabbi Moses Athias - Rabbi at least during 1660(v)

Haham Rabbi Jacob Sasportas  - from 1664 to 1665, the first Haham of the Spanish & Portuguese Jews' Community in London(vi)

Haham Rabbi Joshua (Yehoshua) da Silva - from 1670 to 1679(vii) 

Haham Rabbi Jacob Abendana - from 1681 to 1685(viii) 

Haham Rabbi Solomon Ayllon - from 1689 to 1700(ix)

Additional Congregation:

Although little information is known, there is believed to have been a second Jewish congregation in existence in the mid-1660s,in the area of St. Helens.(x)

Local Government Districts:

Creechurch Street is in the Aldgate Ward of the City of London, within the administrative area of Greater London.

It was in the parish of St. Katherine Cree (abolished 1908)

Cemetery Information:

In February 1657, the Community acquired a lease of land in Mile End, to the east of the City, for use as a cemetery,being the first Jewish cemetery in England since the expulsion of the Jews in 1290. The cemetery became known as Mile End Velho (Old) Cemetery. For additional informaton, see Cemeteries of the Spanish & Portugues Jews' Congregation

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, p 15.

  • (ii) The enalrgement increased the capacity from an estimated 100 males and 25 females to an estimated 172 males and 84 females - The Lost Synagogues of London by Peter Renton, 2004, p.22/3.

  • (iii) The Lost Synagogues of London by Peter Renton, 2004, p.21.

  • (iv) Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History by J. Picciotto (ed. J. Fine stein), 1875, revised 1956.

  • (v) British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, p.21.

  • (vi) Rabbi Sasportas, 1610-1698, was born in Oran, Algeria, served as rabbi in Morocco (Tlemçen, Fez, and Sali) . He was imprisoned by the King of Morocco (c. 1646), escaped to Amsterdam (c. 1653) but called back by the King of Morocco and sent on a special mission to the Spanish court (c. 1659). Appointed Haham of the Jewish community of London in 1664 but left the following year ito escape the Great Plague of London of 1665.  He went to Hamburg until 1673, then to Amsterdam and in 1673 to Leghorn, Italy. In 1680 he returned to Amsterdam remaining until his death.  British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, Chapter 3, pp.16-45.

  • (vii) Rabbi da Silva was born in Amsterdam and died in office in 1679 - British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, Chapter 4, pp.46-56.

  • (viii) Rabbi Abendana, 1630-1685, was born in Morocco, grew up in Frankfurt and then moved to Holland.  - British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, Chapter 5, pp.57-64.

  • (ix) British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, Chapter 6, pp.65-79.

  • (ix) The Great Fire of London of 1666 by Walter G. Bell refers to the fact that the Jews' "residential quarter and the synagogues in Leadenhall Street [i.e. the Creechurch Lane Synagogue] and St. Helens were beyond the area reached by the flames".


Bibliography, On-line Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation


on Third Party website

  • Sasportas by J. Jacobs and others - Jewish Encyclopedia article c. 1906.


List of Sephardi Congregations

Street Directory of Synagogues in East End and City of London

Jewish Congregation in the City of London

Greater London home page



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