There have been Jewish burial grounds in Norwich for the past 250 years. In the 18th century one was located in Mariners Lane, Ber Street. In the 19th century there was one in Talbot Square (formerly known as Quakers Lane). This was closed in 1856 but is still in its original position. The records for this cemetery are sparse and most stones are unreadable.
From 1856 to the present day Bowthorpe Road Cemetery is used. There is a separate Jewish burial ground there, which is part of the Norwich City Cemetery. There is a separate section for those who choose cremation and small flat engraved marble slabs mark these plots.
Recently Historic England included the Jewish Mortuary Chapel, in a list of some of the most interesting sites it has added to its catalogue of listed buildings in 2016.
The body, which listed more than 1,000 new sites over the year, said the chapel, in the northern part of the cemetery, appears “modest and unremarkable” but is a “rarity”, with its significance found in the “Matzeivahs” headstones nearby and their Hebrew inscriptions.
A spokesman for Norwich City Council, which owns the building, said: “We’re delighted that Historic England has chosen the Earlham Cemetery-based Jewish Mortuary Chapel to feature in its list of interesting places for 2016.
The prayer board shown here is from the Bowthorpe cemetery chapel and is typical of its type found at Jewish cemeteries. The Hebrew text is the second paragraph of the “Amidah” (the Standing Prayer) which we say aloud in the morning and silently in the evening.
The last line on the board exhorts the dead person to go to their resting place in peace.
The Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) run by the Norwich Hebrew Congregation now supervises all burials at Bowthorpe Road. Tahara, a ritual cleansing of the deceased is available on request. For this and any other request please contact us.
For further details on burial or cremation please email us.