Putting trust in historic Bevis Marks


Britain’s oldest synagogue, Bevis Marks, is set to enjoy a more prominent spot on the tourist map after being recognised by the National Trust.

The 300-year-old Sephardi synagogue has been accepted as a partner of the trust, which will now promote it as a place of interest.

National Trust programme manager Joseph Watson was “delighted by the partnership. Bevis Marks is an incredibly important building and historic space for London but not a terribly well-known one.

“We shall be promoting it through our website and handbook, which goes out to our four million members.”
The synagogue is one of 14 buildings in London to join the partnership scheme, which was introduced by the trust two years ago. Other partners include Keats House, the Freud Museum and Dr Johnson’s House.

Synagogue manager Maurice Bitton described the recognition as “a win-win situation. Hundreds of thousands of people who wouldn’t have heard of us will now know we are here. We give trust members a 50 per cent discount on entry.”

The synagogue has long benefited from participating in general tourist programmes in the capital such as Open House London, Mr Bitton added.

“When we do something outside the Jewish community, there is huge interest in the oldest synagogue in Britain.”

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