Inventory Site Record

The Jewish Burial Ground (Islington)

Brief Description

The Jewish Burial Ground was opened by the Reform Synagogue, who broke away from the Bevis Marks Sephardic cemetery. The first recorded burial was in 1843 and it was in use until 1951. Enclosed by high brick walls, the burial ground has numerous regularly arranged tombstones set in grass with plane trees along the Kingsbury Road and south boundaries. Among those buried here are many prominent members of the Jewish community such as the de Stern, Goldsmid and Mocatta families.

Practical Information
Previous / Other name:
Balls Pond Cemetery; Kingsbury Road Cemetery
Site location:
Kingsbury Road
What 3 Words:
Type of site:
Open to public?
Opening times:
appears unrestricted
Special conditions:
Public transport:
London Overground: Dalston Kingsland, Dalston Junction. Bus: 30, 38, 56, 277, 141
Research updated:
Last minor changes:

Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.wls.org.uk

Full Site Description

The Jewish Burial Ground was opened in c.1840 by the Reform Synagogue, who broke away from the Bevis Marks Sephardic cemetery; it is now owned by the West London Synagogue. Writing in 1896, Mrs Basil Holmes described the cemetery as 'very neatly kept, and is still in use. It is full of very large tombstones'. One such is that of Lionel Lawson (d.1879) who has a pink granite sarcophagus with bronze embellishments; a manufacturer of printing ink, Lawson had shares in The Daily Telegraph, whose founder, Joseph Levy (d.1888) is also buried here. Others include the financier Sir Isaac Goldsmid (d.1858) who was the first Jewish baronet, and founder of University College London; Sir Julian Goldsmid (d.1934), MP for St Pancras and Vice Chancellor of London University. A number of people connected with the West London Synagogue buried here include Moses Mocatta (d.1857); David Mocatta (d.1882), architect, who has a chest tomb next to that of his wife Ann; David Marks, Head of the West London Synagogue (d.1909). There are fears that the owners may sell the land for housing development; the keeper's house has already gone for housing.

Sources consulted:

Mrs Basil Holmes, The London Burial Grounds, (London, 1896) p290; Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); Bridget Cherry & Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England: London 4: North (Penguin, 1998). See CemeteryScribes.com for a photographic record of the tombstones in the cemetery, completed by January 2010.

Further Information (Planning and Conservation)
Grid ref:
TQ332849 (533270,184954)
Size in hectares:
Site ownership:
West London Synagogue
Site management:
West London Synagogue
Listed structures:
On National Heritage List for England (NHLE), Parks & Gardens:

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:


Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
In Conservation Area:
Conservation Area name:
Tree Preservation Order:
Nature Conservation Area:
Green Belt:
Metropolitan Open Land:
Special Policy Area:
Other LA designation:
Shopping Policy Area/Housing Development Area

Please note the Inventory and its content are provided for your general information only and are subject to change. It is your responsibility to check the accuracy.