1) The First Community 1069-1290 The walk starts at The Guildhall, Gresham Street ending at Aldgate. The walk traces the history of London’s medieval Jewish community by exploring the modern day streets. The walk takes you through the old Jewry to the “Poor” Jewry. The walk visits the places where they lived worked and prayed. Learn about who the Jews were, where they came from and why they were brought to London. Follow the history of the community its people and their trades through the Middles Ages and the events leading to the expulsion of 1290. John’s Jottings Jews were chattels belonging to the King. The penalty for harming a Jew was the same as for harming any other of the King’s livestock.
2) From Restoration to Emancipation 1655-1880 The walk starts at Tower Hill Underground Station ending at the Guildhall. The walk covers the return of a Jewish Community to London in 1656 and (if open) includes a visit to the Bevis Marks synagogue – the oldest synagogue in continuous use. How and why did they did the Jews return to England. The politics and the people involved in England and in the Jewish community and their relationship with the Commonwealth and the later Stuarts. The different communities and their Synagogues. The birth of modern Anglo-Jewry. Their trades, the fight for economic and political emancipation. John’s Jottings The female Rothschilds had a strict order as to whom they could marry. 1st to a Rothschild cousin, next to Montefiore or similar and lastly to a member of the House of Lords. As a result by the late 19th century about 20% of the House of Lords was technically Jewish.
Both walks take approx. 2 hours but if it includes a visit to the Bevis Marks Synagogue (Mornings Only), allow an extra ½ hour plus entrance fee £5 per person, free for National trust Members.