History - Maiden Lane Synagogue Burial Ground - Bancroft Road
With kind permission of Marcus Roberts Jtrails.org.uk© Marcus Roberts, www.jtrails.org.uk
The Bancroft Road cemetery lies at the very Northern end of the Bancroft Road. It is easily found as it is right next to the road, only separated from the street by iron railings. It is worth a brief visit as it is without doubt the saddest Jewish burial ground one is likely to see. Only twenty-four decipherable memorials survive in a general sea of devastation and neglect. The cemetery was largely destroyed by Nazi bombs in the war. Time, vandalism and neglect caused by the extinction of the community that founded it have done the rest.
The cemetery was originally the burial ground for the Maiden Lane Synagogue. This synagogue was founded in 1821 in the Strand. The cemetery was in use into the mid 1930s. In 1934 the writer of "The Burial Grounds of London" noted that there were in 1934 four grave plots left to fill and that even then it was a dreary place.
Tombstones include that of Rabbi David Joseph of Maiden Lane Synagogue (d. 1871) and Rabbi Philip Philips (d.1918). Joseph is recorded as being the Secretary to the "Loyal United Bretheren Benefit Society" one of the numerous benefit societies that existed to help its members in difficult times. The congregants interred here came from a variety of location - particularly Covent Garden, but also Store St W.C. and Kennington Oval.