Bevis Marks

Nuggets – bite size chunks of London


Bevis Marks

 
Bevis Marks is a short sec­tion of street in the City of Lon­don, just south of Hounds­ditch. It was ear­li­er ‘Buries marks’, a lane form­ing the bound­ary (mark) of land belong­ing to the abbey of Bury St Edmunds. The intru­sion of the let­ter ‘v’ seems to have come about as the result of tran­scrip­tion errors in medieval man­u­scripts.

Bevis Marks Syn­a­gogue opened in 1701 to serve the City’s Span­ish and Por­tuguese Jew­ish com­mu­ni­ty. Its inte­ri­or is sump­tu­ous­ly orna­ment­ed but the build­ing itself is plain – almost anony­mous – which was deemed appro­pri­ate when it was built, as this was not a time when Jews wished to draw atten­tion to them­selves. Bevis Marks is the old­est syn­a­gogue in Britain and one of the best-pre­served hous­es of wor­ship of its peri­od still in use.
 
Hidden London: Bevis Marks synagogue exterior