Wednesday, December 25, 2019

England: Southampton's Old Jewish Cemetery

Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
England: Southampton's Old Jewish Cemetery
by Samuel D. Gruber

When I was in England last month I made an unplanned visit to the Old Jewish Cemetery in Southampton, which was opened in the mid-19th century. It was a rainy day on the Common, but the rain stopped long enough for me to poke around the small burial ground, and to take some photos. Here's what I learned and saw.

Southampton Jewish Cemetery is situated within Southampton's (Old) Cemetery, one of the England's oldest municipal cemeteries, located at the south end of the Southampton Common. Ten acres of cemetery were designed in 1843 by noted London landscape gardener J.C. Loudon, the year he published his influential book On the Laying Out, Planting and Managing of Cemeteries. Local nurseryman W.H. Rogers adapted Loudon's design. Five more acres were added in 1862 and an additional 12 acres in 1885. The cemetery is noted for its many graves of war dead, especially from World War I, and also graves or markers for victims of the 1912 sinking of the Titanic, which sailed from Southampton with a largely local crew.

The cemetery was opened in May 1846 by the Bishop of Winchester for Church of England burials. A section was left unconsecrated, however, for dissenting religions and agnostics. Soon after opening a petition was sent to the town council requesting that a portion be set aside for Jewish burials. Consequently, a small Jewish section with it own pre-burial hall was created and the first burial took place in 1854. The space is almost entirely filled today. 

This is one of the earliest modern Jewish cemeteries in England, and the first within a municipal cemetery It follows the example of Glasgow, Scotland, where Sharman Kadish has pointed out "the earliest example of a Jewish plot planned and landscaped as part of the overall design of a municipal cemetery" is the Jews’ Enclosure at the Glasgow Necropolis, laid out in 1829–33 on the model of Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris (1804). Kadish describes the earliest burial in the entire Glasgow cemetery as "that of Joseph Levi, aged 62, quill merchant, who was interred on 12 September 1832 in the Jewish plot. Levi had died of cholera, an epidemic raging in the city at the time. His coffin was filled with lime and water either to prevent the spread of infection or as protection against grave robbers." (Sharman Kadish, "The Situation, Preservation and Care of Jewish Cemeteries in the United Kingdom" in Jewish Cemeteries and Burial Culture in Europe, Berlin: ICOMOS, Journals of the German National Committee No. 53 (2011), pp. 82-87").

Across Europe more Jewish sections were included in municipal cemeteries. This practice began in France and throughout the 19th and early 20th century and spread to countries in Central and Eastern Europe, too. (See Rudolf Klein's recent book Metropolitan Jewish Cemeteries (ICOMOS, 2018).

The Southampton Cemetery is owned and managed by the Southampton City Council, but the Jewish section is managed and maintained by the local Jewish Community.
 
Southampton, England. Sign with map of Commons. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
The stones in the Southampton Jewish cemetery contain several with noteworthy though common decorations, especially a series of round-headed stones that include reliefs showing an arm and hand from heaven wielding a ax and felling a tree, a sign of someone cut down in the prime of life. The stones are similar in source, shape and design, suggesting a single stone carver was responsible for many stones. It is not known (to me, at least) if the stones were prepared locally or shipped from London or elsewhere.

One of these stones with the felled tree tells the sad story of Zelda Melamed, age 48, who died en route to joining her husband in Brooklyn. Southampton is a port city, so it often was a point of transit. It is not known if Zelda died on a ship en route to Brooklyn via Southampton - perhaps leaving from Hamburg - and thus her body was transported here, or if there was another circumstance. The date of the stone - 1930 - suggests that Zelda may already have been in America and was returning from a trip to the old country. That is because the United States pretty much closed is borders to new Jewish (and other) immigrants in 1925.


Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Grave of Zelda Melamed (1930). Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
Zelda's is also one of three stones I saw that still had traces of a enameled portrait of the deceased. The method of fixing a photographic image on enamel or porcelain by firing it in a kiln was already patented in France by 1854. The practice spread widely in Europe and by the late 19th century was being used regularly in cemeteries as a much cheaper alternative to statuary for the personalizing of the gravestone. In America, the practice had caught on by 1900 and in the early 1900s the mail-order retailer Sears-Roebuck was advertising in its catalogue for “Imperishable Limoges porcelain portraits [which] preserve the features of the deceased . . .”

Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.

 Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Grave of Zelda Melamed (1930), dtl. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.


Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Grave of Zelda Melamed (1930), dtl. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.


  Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Stone with portrait on ceramic. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Stone with portrait on ceramic, detail. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Stone with portrait on ceramic. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Stone with portrait on ceramic, detail Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
As far I can tell, most burials were made along rows in the order of death, and this explains the groupings of often similar stones as they were carved and set within a rarely short time span and were most likely provided by the same monument maker.


Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Two stones of men who died in 1923. They appear unrelated, but the stones are cut by the same monument maker. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. These three stones on the right date from 1930-1931. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
At least three stones show hands raised in the Priestly Blessing, indicating that the deceased were Cohanim; the names of these Cohanim are Abraham Collins, and Benny and Moses Cohen. Only the grave of Abraham Collins is at the edge of the cemetery; the other two were in the central area. Since the graves are set close together it does not look like there was ever "Cohanim walk" to protect ritual purity. More likely, such matters were not a great concern to the families of the deceased.

Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Gravestone of Abraham Collins (died 1894). Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
One other stone shows hands - those of a woman giving the blessings over the Sabbath lights. The hands are shown with candlesticks, a traditional emblem to denote a good and pious woman.

Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Gravestone of Kate Rosenberg Bachins (?), 1923. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Gravestone of Kate Rosenberg Bachins (?), 1923. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
At least one war veteran is buried in the cemetery. Lt. P.L. Moss died in 1946, and there is one O.B.E. (Officer of the British Empire) recipient:  Nathan Turk, Chairman, Westminster Savings Committee who was named an O.B.E. in 1953 ans died in 1985.

Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Grave of Lt. P.L. Moss, died 1946. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Southampton, England. Old Jewish Cemetery. Grave of Nathan Turk, O.B.E. (right), died 1985. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
FOR FURTHER READING:

On Jewish cemeteries in England also see Kadish, “ Bet Hayim: An Introduction to Jewish Funerary Art and Architecture in Britain”, in: Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society 49 (2005), pp. 31–58; S. Kadish, “ Jewish funerary architecture in Britain and Ireland since 1656”, in: Jewish Historical Studies [JHSE] 43 (2011), pp. 59 –88.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

A Visit to Medieval Jewish Winchester

Winchester, England. Sign on Jewry Street. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Winchester, England. Winchester Cathedral, Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, Painting of a Jew. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Brochure of Winchester's Medieval Jewish Trail.
A Visit to Medieval Jewish Winchester
by Samuel D. Gruber

Following my visit to Oxford, I spent a day in Winchester, the Anglo-Saxon capitol of England, which remained a major royal enter in the Norman period, and as a well-preserved medieval city it is a major tourist center today. Winchester is, of course, famous for its Cathedral which has gone through many permutations over the centuries, but mostly remains as a stunning example of late English Gothic architecture. Winchester also had a substantial Jewry until the expulsion of the Jews from Britain by Edward I on July 18, 1290.

The Jewry (street of the Jews) still exists, but none of the houses of Jews on the street survive. As in Oxford, however local historians sponsored by Winchester University and the City Council have put together a walking route in the town that informs the viewer of what once was there, and who lived where and did what.

I'd learned of the route from a recent post on Jewish-Heritage-Europe.eu. by Toni Griffiths, who wrote about "Touring the Invisible: The Public Recovery of England’s Medieval Jewish History" Toni's 2018 Ph.D. thesis "The Journey of Memory: forgetting and remembering England's medieval Jews" investigates and analyses the discoveries of and controversies several medieval Jewish cemeteries in England. She has been active in efforts to include more about England's Jewish history in local history and heritage agendas.

I walked part of Winchester's Medieval Jewish Trail, but as it began to rain pretty hard, soaking my brochure and map, I did miss a few stops along the way, and did not make it the site of the Jewish cemetery, just outside the walls. But truthfully, though the High Street is lovely, there is not much Jewish to see. With the exception of my few photos above, there is little visible physical evidence of the Jewish presence in the town of 700 years ago. According to Dr. Grffiths, "only one piece of material evidence of the city’s medieval Jewish history survives: a lead token bearing a Hebrew inscription, which was found in an excavation in 1968. This token, which dates from before the mid-13th century, is hugely significant but is in too poor condition to be displayed publicly." Otherwise, the trail is an exercise in historical imagining (or Touring the Invisible", and we are challenged to imagine the physical, social, economic and religious life of Winchester small - but influential - Jewish community.

At Winchester Cathedral, where there were once medieval statues of opposed Sinagoga and Ecclesia, there still are few images of Jews. In the Holy Sepulchre Chapel, part of the surviving Norman Romanesque transept and crossing area, re-discovered paintings from around 1160 show Jews wearing conical hats--that is we know they are Jews precisely because they are wearing these prescribed hats. One double scene shows the Deposition from the Cross and the Entombment of Jesus one figure - presumably meant to be Joseph of Arimathea - is shown with the distinctive hat. Another bust of a Jew with the hat is painted in a ceiling spandrel, but it is not clear who this is meant to be.

Winchester, England. Winchester Cathedral, Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre, Deposition and Entombment. Hard to see in this image, but Joseph of Arimathea is probably at top left of Deposition, and bottom right of Entombment.  Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Unlike the lost statue of Sinagoga, none of these portrayals is derogatory. The hat is a shown as descriptive, not accusatory. The Lateran Council of 1215 declared that Jews needed to be distinguished from Christians by their dress, but it seems that in England it was not until 1267 that there was mandatory wearing of a Jewish hat. But it is not clear under what circumstances English Jews were required to wear such hats, and even if required, whether they actually did so. And since the Cathedral frescoes are believed to date from c. 1160, it seems the idea of the Jewish hat was clearly established in England by then.

It was not until In 1218, that King  Henry III proclaimed the Edict of the Badge that required Jews to wear a badge, but it is not clear how effective this edict was, since in 1253, it was again required that Jews aged 7 years and older wear a badge made of strip of yellow felt, 6 inches by 3 inches in the shape of the two tablets given on Mount Sinai. For a while, Jews in Winchester were able to pay money to avoid the badge, which is clearly indicated in the 14th century Rochester Chronicle which represents Jews are shown being beaten at the time of the Expulsion (British Library, Cotton Nero D. II.), folio 183v.).

Rochester Chronicle which represents Jews with badges are shown being beaten  British Library, Cotton Nero D. II., folio 183v.
Rochester Chronicle which represents Jews with badges are shown being beaten  British Library, Cotton Nero D. II., folio 183v.
At Winchester Cathedral, I could not find any information or reference to Jews in the Holy Sepulchral Chapel or in any other context, and the tour guide seemed flustered when he showed the chapel and I mentioned the Jews. It may have been because any discussion would have distrubed the tour timetable, or he may have been unprepared for the question. Some information is provided in the Medieval Jewish Winchester brochure, and more online in a slightly longer pdf version of the tour.  

I did enjoy the attractive and informative new exhibition Kings and Scribes: Birth of a Nation in which several folios of the famed Winchester Bible, thought to have been begun in 1160, are on view. The visual treatment of Jewish patriarchs, prophets and kings in this work is worthy of study, but is not addressed in this exhibit which focuses in large part on the physical creation of the massive work and its purpose and patronage. Perhaps the most "Jewish" of bible pages is the so-called The Morgan Leaf, which was originally a frontispiece to the Book of Samuel, but is now disassociated from the rest of the manuscript and is a prize of the Morgan Library in New York. It is well illustrated and described by Andreas Petzold here.

Morgan Leaf, The Winchester Bible, frontispiece for 1 Samuel with scenes from the Life of David, c. 1150–80 (Winchester, England), tempera and gold on parchment, 58.3 x 39.6 cm (Morgan Library & Museum).
Though in the Middle Ages the Jews of Winchester mostly lived in the area of Jewry Street and High Street, Jewry now continues much further into the alter town and toward the train station. Along this route is the local public library, known as the Winchester Discovery Center, and here we may see in the near future a sizable physical reminder of the town's Jewish past. Plans have been in progress for several years to erect a statue of Winchester's most famous Jew (and a woman at that), the financier Licoricia. The Licoricia of Winchester Statue Appeal, is working "to raise the 125,000 pounds that will pay for both the statue and also educational work to promote tolerance." The model is made and permissions have been granted; now only the money is needed to cast and install the statue.  

The appeal of the statue is not only to reclaim forgotten Jewish history, but also to address the obvious dearth of representations of women in Britain's public monuments and commemorative art. There are other statues in Winchester. King Alfred the Great raises his sword at the bottom of High Street, and an anonymous equestrian is on High Street near Trafalgar Street. Of course, there scores of statues of notables within the Cathedral.
 
Winchester, England. Jewry Street. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Winchester, England. Tour map of sites of Jewish interest. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Winchester, England. Winchester Discovery Center on Jewry Street, future site of Licoricia statue. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Winchester, England. Winchester Discovery Center on Jewry Street, future site of Licoricia statue. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Winchester, England. Winchester Discovery Center on Jewry Street, with mock-up of Licoricia statue.
Winchester, England. Alfred the Great statue. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
 Winchester, England. Horse and rider sculpture by Dame Elisabeth Frink, 1983. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Happy Birthday Léon Indenbaum (10 December 1890 - 29 September 1981)!

Léon Indenbaum in his studio. 
Léon Indenbaum, Head of young ephebe, 1913.
Leon Indenbaum. Musiciens et Antilopes, 1914.
 

Leon Indenbaum. Head of Chana Orloff, 1925.
Happy Birthday Léon Indenbaum (10 December 1890 -  29 September 1981!
by Samuel D.Gruber

Léon Indenbaum was a Jewish sculptor from Chavusy/Tcherikover in eastern Belarus who trained as a boy as wood carver, and then found a place in the School of Fine Arts in Odessa, and then later at the antonolski School of Applied Arts Antonolski in Vilnius (Lithuania), after which he made his way to Paris in 1911 as part of the first wave of Jewish artist who would become known as a the Paris School. He settled in Montparnasse as part the large circle of Yiddish-speaking immigrant artists at  "La Ruche".  From 1911 to 1919,  Indenbaum trained with and assisted famed sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, and by 1912 the protege was already showing his stone sculpture in the Salon des Indépendants.


Indenbaum stayed in France, was naturalized a French citizen, and died in Opio, France in 1981. 


Indenbaum was a close associate of many Paris-based artists who are today better known. He sculpted portraits of several of his contemporaries including Chana Orloff and Chaim Soutine, and his portrait was painted by Amadeo Modigliani and Diego Rivera.  Modigliani lived for a time with Indenbaum, and the two later shared a studio.

Leon Indenbaum. Head of Chaim Soutine?


Diego Rivera, Portrait of Leon Indenbaum, 1913.
Amadeo Modigliani, Portrait of Leon Indenbaum, 1916. The Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation on long term loan to the Princeton University Art Museum
The fashion designer and collector Jacques Doucet was Indenbaum's first patron, for whom he carved many decorative panels.  Paul Poiret was another patron. He continued to exhibit  through the 1920s. 

Subsequently Indenbaum seems to shun publicity, and rejects many more commercial commissions.

He survived the Second World War, but less is known of his later career, when he continued to sculpt bronze humane and animal figures. In recent decades as interest in the School of Paris has continued to grow, Indenbaum's work - especially his early work - has been highly prized, In 2004 his marble relief Musiciens et Antilopes of 1914 set a record price of over $4.5 million at auction for 20th-century "decorative art". 


Léon Indenbaum, Femme nue à l'enfant, 1917. This relief is said to represent Indenbaum's wife and child.
Léon Indenbaum, Femme nue à l'enfant, 1917, detail.
Léon Indenbaum, Head of a Child, bronze.
Léon Indenbaum, Céline and Dinah, 1917, bronze.

Léon Indenbaum, Woman doing her hair, 1926.



Monday, December 2, 2019

Medieval Jewish Sites in Oxford, England

Oxford, England. Dead Man's Walk, Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
Oxford, England. Dead Man's Walk, Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019

Oxford, England. Lasker Rose Garden, Oxford Botanic Garden. Memorial plaque on site of second Jewish cemetery. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.

Medieval Jewish  Sites in Oxford, England
by Samuel D. Gruber

On August 6, 2019, Jewish-Heritage-Europe.eu reported on the reburial of bones discovered at the site of the first medieval Jewish cemetery in Oxford, England, which was established c. 1190. The cemetery now lies under Oxford's Magdalene College (founded 1458), famed for its choir school. In 2013, I wrote about the installation of an earlier plaque in the second Jewish cemetery across the road under the Botanical Garden

A recent visit to Oxford allowed me to visit these and other sites related to the medieval Jewish settlement there, which extended from about 1075 until the expulsion of all Jews from England in 1290. There are no significant visible physical remains of the Jewish past, but there are echoes. These have been amplified in recent years by the efforts of researchers and cultural heritage professionals. This has led to the creation in 2013 of an excellent guide to Oxford's Jewish heritage by Victoria Bentata and Pam Manix, which is available on-line as a pdf from the Oxford Jewish Heritage website and in a hard copy at the Oxford Visitor's Center.

There are also a few historical markers around the city, and the location of the two Jewish cemeteries - long since built over - are indicated with recent commemorative markers.

Because of centuries of good English record keeping, and meticulous property and tax records dating to the Norman and Angevin periods, we know exactly where many Jews owned property, and the names of many Jewish residents. These are displayed in detailed maps of Medieval Jewish Oxford on the Oxford Jewish Heritage website. 

Throughout England, beginning in the 19th century, such records have been correlated to the detailed Ordinance Survey maps of English towns, so that we have as good or better sense of Jewish settlement patterns - at least for wealthier Jews - in Norman and Angevin England than of any place else in medieval Europe. This is certainly the case of Oxford.

Oxford, England. Carfax Crossroads and St. Aldate's Street (former Great Jewry Street). Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Oxford, England. Bear Lane off St. Aldate's Street (former Great Jewry Street). Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Oxford, England. Plaque on side of Town Hall facing Bear Lane off St. Aldate's Street (former Great Jewry Street). Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
In Oxford, Jews settled around Great Jewry Street, what is today St. Aldate's, where the Town Hall is located. At the top of the street at the Carfax Crossroads was the house of Aaron son of Isaac. In 1141 King Stephen ordered this house was burned down as a threat to other Jews, in an successful effort to extort large sums of money from the community so he could fight his cousin and rival for the throne, Empress Matilda. We know, too, that David of Oxford, a very wealthy financier, lived in a stone house on on Great Jewry, now the site of the Town Hall. Other Jews lived nearby, and the synagogue was located down the street on part of what is now Christ Church College Tom Quad. A similar situation--and Jewry--existed in Winchester, where the financier Licoricia of Winchester lived. Licorcia married David of Oxford (more on her and the Jewry of Winchester in another post).

Jewries were not ghettos. There was not, as far we know, enforced enclosure of Jewish communities in England. It is possible some communities lived in closed gated areas for protection.

Oxford, England. Museum of Oxford. Display of varied medieval material. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
The Museum of Oxford, also called Discover Oxford, is located in the Town Hall. It is undergoing renovation and expansion, so only a small part of its collection was on view. Normally, this includes material excavated under the Town Hall, some of which may date to the period of Jewish occupation. Most of the items in the temporary exhibit, however, all appeared later, and in any case, like most every objects of medieval Jews, any of these could have been owned and used for Jews or Christians.

The only object the might be from one of the medieval Jewish houses is a stone cresset lamp which was part of the immovable architecture of a house, excavated in the 1890s. An oil soaked rope or other type of wick would be set in oil in the basin and this would burn as interior lighting. This lamp is a rare survival what was probably a relatively common functional architectural element houses, especially stone houses, of the well-to-do. I have never seen one on a synagogue--but it is possible that this type of lighting was used in synagogues and other public buildings, too.

Oxford, England. Museum of Oxford. Medieval cresset lamp found during 1890s excavation beneath Town Hall. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
The museum also has some basic information on the town's medieval Jewish population--especially its best known characters--as part of its educational presentation to a general public. I suspect this will all be expanded in the new exhibition.

Oxford, England. Museum of Oxford. Information on medieval Oxford Jews. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Oxford, England. Museum of Oxford. Information on medieval Oxford Jews. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Oxford, England. Museum of Oxford. Information on medieval Oxford Jews. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Perhaps the highlight of the Jewish route in Oxford and the most notable extant topographical feature of the Jewish past is the long walkway outside the city walls known as Dead Man's Walk that allowed Jews to transport bodies from the Jewry for burial without passing through the city streets. Originally bodies were taken to London, the site of the only Jewish cemetery. Then, after 1190, when burial was allowed in Oxford, and the Jewish Community purchased a water meadow outside the city which was consecrated as a cemetery. According to Pam Manix of Oxford Jewish Heritage, “It ran 300 feet along the road – roughly from Magdalen Bridge to where the Porters’ Lodge [of Magdalene College] now stands.

Oxford, England. Dead Man's Walk, Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
Oxford, England. Dead Man's Walk, Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
In 1231 this land was given by Henry III to the Hospital of Saint John, and only a small parcel of wasteland, approximately on the site of  the Lasker Rose Garden at the entrance to the Botanical Gardens across the road from Magdalene College, was allowed for Jewish burial. A granite plaque was installed giving the history of the site was installed in 2012.

In 2016 bones from the first cemetery were found during construction work at Magdalene College. These were reburied in a new grave at the College, and a plaque was installed in the ground of the Magdalene's St. John Quad close to the site of the discovery. A ceremony was held re-interring the bones, and dedicating the plaque, and commemorating the medieval Jewish community.

Oxford, England. Magdalene College. St. John's Quad, location of plaque commemorating the first Jewish cemetery in Oxford. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
 Oxford, England. Magdalene College. Dedication of commemorative plaque on June 20, 2019,  marking the location of the first Jewish cemetery in Oxford. Photo: Magdalene College website.
Oxford, England. Magdalene College. Commemorative plaque marking the location of the first Jewish cemetery in Oxford. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
Oxford, England. Magdalene College. Commemorative plaque marking the location of the first Jewish cemetery in Oxford. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019
The second cemetery was opened after 1231 across the road, from the first just outside the East Gate of the Old City Walls. After 1290 the land was also part of St. John's Hospital--which may have also used the site for burials. The University of Oxford Botanic Garden opened on the site in the early 17th century as a 'physic garden', at which time bones were dug up between 1621 and 1633.  There was a marker set to the right of the gate to the Gardens in 1931 noting the cemetery use of the site.

In 2012 the Oxford Jewish Heritage Committee erected a more prominent  memorial to the medieval Jewish community.This was originally laid flat in the ground, but has now been elevated and is higher and set an an angle to allow greater visibility and better legibility.

Oxford, England. Lasker Rose Garden, Oxford Botanic Garden. Memorial plaque on site of second Jewish cemetery. An earlier plaque from 1931 can be seen in the background on the wall next to the Botanic Garden gate. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.
Oxford, England. Oxford Botanic Garden. Danby Gateway, 1633. Cemetery memorial plaque from 1931 can be seen  on the wall to the right of the gate. Photo: Samuel Gruber 2019.