Page created: June 2003
Latest revision or update: 1 May 2017
Bristol Jewish Cemetery Records
(to 5 June 2003)
Bristol is one of the oldest provincial Jewish communities in the United Kingdom. There are details of a Jewish community
in the city dating back to pre-expulsion times in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Over the last 250 years at least three Jewish cemeteries are known to have been established in Bristol: -
Barton Road, St Phillips
Great Gardens (Temple), Rose Street
Ridgway (Fishponds), Eastville
Barton Road Cemetery, St Phillips
The Barton Road Cemetery in St. Philips is believed to be the first in
Bristol following the resettlement of Jews in England following their expulsion
in 1290. (There had
been a medieval Jewish cemetery in Bristol in use some time from 1177 until
is documentary evidence to suggest that it was first established between
1740 - 1750, although the earliest identified tombstone dates from 1762. Because
of the restrictions on Jews owning land it was leased for a number of years,
finally being acquired by the Bristol Jewish Community on 8th August
1859. It continued in use until the early 1900s with the final burial
taking place there in 1944. A fire in an adjoining building in 1901
resulted in one the Cemetery walls being demolished by firemen to
gain access to the blazing building. As a consequence, a number of
tombstones were toppled and graves flattened. The stones were
subsequently removed from where they had fallen and laid against the
boundary wall without any record of their original location. There are
approximately 160 burials at this cemetery included in the Database.
Great Gardens (Temple) Cemetery, Rose Street
In 1811 Lazarus Jacobs, an eminent glass maker, set aside part of his
Great Gardens dwelling in Rose Street for use as a private burial ground.
This burial ground was purchased from Isaac Jacobs by Moses Abraham in 1830
and, during the mid to late 1800s, was used for a relatively small number
of burials, the majority of burials during that period being in the St Philips Cemetery. The Great
Gardens site was compulsorily purchased by the Great Western Railway
in 1913 to extend the Goods Yard at Temple Meads but it was not until
September 1924 that 27 graves and tombstones were removed from there
to be re-interred in the Ridgway (Fishponds) Cemetery (see below) under the supervision of
Mr. M. Nathan. Only about 50% of these tombstones remain partially
Ridgway (Fishponds) Cemetery, Eastville
The Ridgway Cemetery was purchased in several stages, the first section
being acquired in the late 1890s (the first burial was in 1898). The
second section was purchased in the late 1920s with the present prayer house
being dedicated in 1933. In 1924, the 27 graves and
tombstones were removed from the Great Garden Cemetery to be re-interred in the
Ridgway Cemetery. The present prayer
house was dedicated in 1933. This cemetery continues in use today. There are
approximately 640 burials at this cemetery included in the Database until 2003.
Those buried at this cemetery include:
- Joseph Abraham - First Jewish Mayor of Bristol in 1865
- Helen (Strimer) Bloom - First
Jewish Lord Mayor of Bristol in 1971
The Bristol Cemeteries' Database Project
The Bristol Jewish Cemetery Project was undertaken by volunteers from of the local Jewish Genealogy Group with the dual aims of providing the Jewish Burial Society
(Chevrah Chadisha) with a comprehensive set of records (index and photographs) for its Cemeteries and submitting this information to the Jewish Cemetery Project.
The work was carried out initially during the summer and autumn of 1997 by Sheila and Alan Tobias, Judith Samuel, Michael Hill, Audrey Greenwood, Marlene Sutton, Sam Silverman,
Sam Nirenberg and Rabbi Hillel Simon.
Information from the tombstones was supplemented from the following sources:
the Bristol Chevrah Chadisha Register of Births and Deaths 1829 - 1894 covering the St. Philips and Rose St. Cemeteries;
a listing of the inscriptions from the tombstones in the St Philips Cemetery compiled in 1990 - 1992 by Judith Samuel and the late Rev. Dr. Bernard Susser
(original research by David and Simon Jacobs and Lynne Edwards, 1984);
the index produced by the Bristol Chevrah Chadisha for the newer sections of the Fishponds Cemetery;
a pre-1950 notebook covering the older (original) sections of the Fishponds Cemetery;
the Bristol Chevrah Chadisha's holding of Death Certificates.
In a number of cases, tombstones were identified by matching the Hebrew names and/or dates given on them with those recorded in the death register.
Also, the Samuel-Susser listing proved invaluable in verifying the detail and location of a number of fallen or eroded tombstones in the St Philips cemetery.
Wherever possible, details of both date of death and age have been extracted from Bristol
Chevrah Chadisha's holding of Death Certificates
as these were considered to be the more accurate information source.
Details of all burials are available on this database, together with
images of all legible and partially legible tombstones as well as most
of the 20th century Burial Certificates. Required information for any
individual may be displayed by first selecting a cemetery and then
highlighting the required name from the drop-down list given below.
To obtain an enlarged display of a tombstone, click on its image. To
view the Burial Certificate, click on the 'Y' if given in the Cert box.
Burial Certificates may also be viewed in a separate database by selecting the
required name form the drop down list.
The information provided in the database gives for each individual:
Date of death
Age (where known)
Additional data source - Death Certificate (c) or Death Register (r)
Notes on state of the tombstone, etc.
Grave location within cemetery
Hebrew name (St. Philips cemetery only)
Some of the records have no surname (illegible, or only Hebrew given names). These can be searched by using UNKNOWN as the surname.
Images of legible tombstones may be viewed and downloaded by clicking on the forename of the individual (if highlighted).
SEARCH SOLELY IN THE BRISTOL CEMETERIES DATABASE
This database, together with the tombstone images, are provided with the permission of the Bristol Jewish Burial Society (Chevrah Chadisha).