Willesden Cemetery "House of Life"

The United Synagogue has been awarded a £1.7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to open Willesden Jewish Cemetery as a place of heritage for the public.  

The award follows a two-year development in which the US, with HLF support, progressed plans to conserve buildings and a small number of memorials at Willesden Cemetery, green the landscape, improve bio-diversity, and to offer activities for a greater number and range of visitors.

Work to develop capital works and activities is scheduled to start by late spring 2018, subject to receipt of planning approval from the London Borough of Brent and the raising of the required additional funding.

Volunteering and learning activities to start from later in 2018 range from genealogy to creative writing and photography. Temporary exhibitions will showcase Jewish history as part of local and London heritage.

Willesden Cemetery is London’s pre-eminent Victorian Jewish cemetery containing 29,800 graves dating back to 1873. It is the only Jewish cemetery on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. Funerary buildings, the UK’s first national Jewish war memorial and three tombs were listed Grade II by Historic England in 2017.

The stories of people buried at Willesden and histories of the Jewish community will be told through guided walks, talks, films, signage, maps and a website.  Visitors will be encouraged to contribute their own family’s stories to the project. 

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Willesden Cemetery is open for visiting six days a week. See the opening hours here

Email: heritage@theus.org.uk