Grants News

From Cornwall Heritage Trust Grants

Penzance Jewish Cemetery

Bet Tohorah Excavation & Relay
July 2014

In July 2014 Cornwall Heritage Trust agreed a grant of £1,375 towards the excavation and re-laying of the Bet Tohorah (ritual cleansing area) of the Penzance Jewish Cemetery at Leskinnick Terrace, Penzance.

The site is considered to be the finest Georgian Jewish Cemetery existing outside of London. Its enclosing walls, dating from 1845, are highly unusual, and the site also includes a complete Bet Tohorah, or “Cleansing House”, a very rare feature to survive from this period. Thanks to the site’s geographical position, and the protection provided by its enclosing walls, the inscriptions on the surviving tombs are exceptionally well preserved.

The project will ensure that this important historical site remains accessible to visitors and secure for both residents and the historic monuments which it contains.

The project was managed by the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Kehillat Kernow and the Friends of the Penzance Jewish Cemetery and culminated with the re-sanctification of the Penzance Jewish Cemetery during a unique ceremony at the Cemetery recently.

Photos courtesy of Greg Martin (The Cornishman) and Leslie Lipert.