Guildford Medieval Synagogue in Guildford, England

In 1996, renovation work on a humble bookshop in Guildford revealed a stunning medieval chamber, forgotten beneath the ground for some 700 years. Archaeologists have interpreted it as a Jewish synagogue dating back to 1180, making it the oldest synagogue in the British Isles.

Stone steps leading down from what was the medieval street level reveal that it has always been a secret place. This is no surprise: Jewish people were treated appallingly in medieval Britain because of their faith,...

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