Building Name

Old Bayswater Synagogue Chichester Place Harrow Road Bayswater

1862 - 1863
Chicester Place
Bayswater, London
Greater London, England
New build
Lawrence and Sons

Spacious and rounded. A collaboration between Salomons and Nathan Solomon Joseph who also seems to have acted as consultant to non-Jewish architects on at least two other major synagogues. According to Jamilly, the design was the “blood brother” of the Old Melbourne Synagogue and one which may have inspired others in the Colonies.

THE BAYSWATER SYNAGOGUE. This synagogue, which is now rapidly approaching completion, is situated in Chichester-place, Harrow Road, immediately to the rear of Upper Westbourne Terrace. The building is in the Italian style, freely treated, and partakes of the general decorative character of the architecture of the Venetian school. It is entered by a handsome porch, richly decorated with stone carving of elegant design. This leads to a spacious vestibule, on the left of which are the entrances to the synagogue itself, and on the right the staircases leading to the galleries. The synagogue is about 65 feet long, about 50 feet wide, and nearly 60 feet high. The roof is framed, with arched ribs supported upon iron columns having highly-enriched capitals; the ceiling between the ribs follow the natural slope of the roof, and is divided into large panels boldly moulded. The general design of the ceiling is bold and striking. The gallery is supported by a lower tier of iron columns, which have decorated capitals. The gallery front is formed of diagonal panelling, and is surmounted with an ornamental iron grille. The most striking feature on entering the building is the ark, wherein are deposited the sacred scrolls of the Pentateuch. The ark is situated at the east end of the building, and presents elevation of imposing design. Indeed, the whole east end of the building is occupied with the architectural adornments of this the most holy part of the structure. An arched opening is formed in the east wall, and is surrounded with a bold enriched architrave supported upon ornamental columns. Over this is the main cornice of the ark, and surmounting the whole, is handsome wheel window filled with stained glass, capped with an enriched label or hood, and supported on each side by scrollwork of very chaste design. The ark proper, or receptacle for the scrolls of the Pentateuch, is a recessed niche, entered by the large arched opening above described. The whole of this niche is very richly adorned, and over it a counter light has been so arranged as to concentrate a flood of light upon the ark itself. The ensemble of the ark, when complete, will extremely fine. In synagogues the prayers are read the minister and choir from a central platform raised some height above the general level. This platform, with its fittings and balustrades, is of handsome design and is constructed entirely wainscot. The whole of the seats and other internal fittings are of wainscot, and the stall-ends are handsomely carved and moulded. The seats are not arranged as in churches, but ate placed longitudinally, each row of seats being higher than the one immediately in front of it, so that every congregant can see and hear perfectly. The building will be opened for Divine service in about two months. Messrs. Lawrence and Sons are the builders; Mr. Edward Salomons and Mr. N. S, Joseph are the architects. [Illustrated Times 21 February 1863 page 13].

Reference    Illustrated Times 21 February 1863 page 13 with illustrations
Reference    Edward Jamilly:     An introduction to Victorian Synagogues Vic Soc Annual 1991. Anglo Jewish Architects