the former

Branstaple Jewish Community

& Synagogue

Barnstaple, North Devon, Devon




Page created: 21 June 2016
Latest revision or update: 27 December 2016

Town of Barnstaple

Barnstaple is the main town in north Devon in southeast England, located on the river Taw flowing into the Bristol Channel. It has a population of about 53,000 (including satellite communities).  Barnstaple had claimed borough status since Saxon times. In 1974, the then Municipal Borough of Barnstaple was merged with a number of neighbouring localities to form the District of North Devon, a local government district of the county of Devon.

Barnstaple Jewish Community

There is evidence of some Jewish families in Barnstaple from at least 1765(i), although very little is known of synagogue or organised Jewish community, which appears to have ceased to exist by the mid eighteenth century.

Congregation Data


Barnstaple Synagogue


At the home of Mr. Abraham Ralph

Formation and Status:

The congregation was formed prior to 1805 and would not have continued beyond the mid 19th century(ii).

Press Report:

The existence of an organised Jewish congregation in Barnstaple is currently based solely on the following press report(iii):

The Gentleman's Magazine, vol. LXXV, Pt2, 1805, p 1176

"Mr.Abraham Ralph, silversmith of Barnstaple, Devon, where he was the oldest shopkeeper and had been inbusiness upwards of 40 years. The Synagogue assemblies were always held in his house."

Cemetery Information:

There is no known Jewish Cemetery in North Devon.

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) Thesis - The Jews of South-East England by Bernard Susser, 1977, Chapter Two, Part 2, which gives the first known date of Jewish residence as 1765.

  • (ii) Ibid. -The Thesis also gives the last known date of Jewish residence in Barnstable as 1844.

  • (iii) The Jews of Barnstaple by Helen Fry, published by The Hidden Legacy Foundation as part of The Jews of Devon and Cornwall, 2000, pp.61-63


    Search the All-UK Database

    The records in the database associated with Barnstable include:

    1851 Anglo Jewry Database

    Individuals in the 1851 Anglo Jewry Database who were living in Barnstable during the 1810s (2 records), 1820s (5 records), 1830s (2 records) and 1850s (1 record).

    Jewish Communities in Devon

    Jewish Communities of England home page



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