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Visiting the haunting Princelet Street Synagogue

Foundation for Jewish Heritage Chief Executive Michael Mail was invited by leading heritage

expert and television personality Dan Cruickshank to visit the Grade II* listed former

Princelet Street Synagogue off Brick Lane in the East End of London.

The Synagogue closed in 1963 and was later taken over by the Spitalfields Trust, which Dan chairs.

Dan took Michael on a tour of the building, explaining its historical significance going back to the time of its construction in 1718. The building had served as a Huguenot weaver’s house, and became a Synagogue in 1870 when an extension was added covering the garden at the house’s rear.

The building is one of the very few in the Spitalfields area that retains original 18th century features, and it represents one of the few remaining synagogue structures in an area that once had a Jewish population of over 100,000.

The Trust is reviewing the future use of the site, and the Foundation for Jewish Heritage has been invited to contribute to these discussions.

Michael commented: "The former synagogue is an astonishing building, preserved like a time capsule. It was a very special experience to have the opportunity to visit in Dan’s company, and have the building explained with all his wonderful energy and passion."

He added: "We hope that the Spitalfields Trust will be able to come up with a new scenario for the site that will make the building accessible, and introduce visitors to the immigrant experience in the East End, including the important Jewish legacy.’"


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