the former

Creechurch Lane Synagogue

City of London, London EC3





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Creechurch Street Synagogue plaque
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(i), London EC3A 5DQ

When Formed:

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

Final Status:

Succeeded by the Bevis Marks Synagogue in 1701.

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


Orthodox Sephardi, following Spanish & Portuguese rites, now often referred to as Western Sephardi. However, 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, although they were not permitted to hold office, vote nor take part in the service.

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.(vii)

Rabbis: (To view a short profile of a rabbi whose name appears in blue - hold the cursor over his name.)

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

Rabbi Moses Athias - Rabbi or possibly Chazan at least during 1660(ix)

Haham Rabbi Jacob Sasportas - from 1664 to 1665, the first Haham of the Sephardi Community in London(xii)

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

Haham Rabbi Jacob Abendana from 1681 to 1685(xiv)

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

For a complete list of Hahamin click HERE

Local Government District:

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)


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 information, see Cemeteries of the Spanish & Portugues Jews' Congregation

Notes & Sources ( returns to text above)

  • (i) 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.

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

  • (iii) The enlargement 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..

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

  • (v) and (vi) Reserved.

  • (vii) The Great Fire of London of 1666 by Walter G. Bell, 1971, 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".

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

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

  • (x) and (xi) Reserved.

  • (xii) British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, Chapter 3, pp.26-45.

  • (xiii) British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, Chapter 4, pp.46-56. Not a great deal is known about Rabbi Joshua da Silva's background. He was born in Amsterdam, was married to Sara and died in office in London in 1679.

  • (xiii) British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, Chapter 5, pp.57-64.

  • (xiii) British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor, 2007, Chapter 6, pp.57-79.


Bibliography, Online Articles and Other Material
relating to this Congregation


  • A Brief History of the Founding of the Creechurch Lane Synagogue by David Shulman.

  • Selected Bibliography:

    • First London Synagogue of the Resettlement by Wilfred S. Samuel (1924, Sottiswoode Ballantyre);

    • The Synagogues of Europe by C. H. Krinsky (1985, The M.I.T. Press, Cambridge MA). p. 412;

    • The Lost Synagogues of London by Peter Renton (2000, Tymsder Publishing, London) pp. 21-23;

    • British Chief Rabbis 1664-2006 by Derek Taylor (2007, Vallentine Mitchell) pp. 5-79;

    • for others, see under Bevis Mark Synagogue.

  • Additional Congregation History & Records - see under Bevis Mark Synagogue.

on Third Party websites

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

Page created: 18 August 2006
Data significantly expanded and notes first added: 30 July 2017
Latest revision or update: 22 February 2021

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