Walworth Road Synagogue. H. H. Collins, architect. 1867. Source: The 1867 Illustrated London News, which comments, “The new synagogue, or meeting-house, built for the use of the Hebrews living in the Borough and other parts of South London, is situated in Albion-place, Walworth-road. The architect, Mr. H. H. Collins, in laying out the site, which is irregularly shaped, for the synagogue and adjoining rchoolhouse, has managed so that none of the space is lost. We present an Illustration of the synagogue, which is a fine edifice of its size, the length being 60 ft., the width 40 ft, and the height 36 ft. The front is approached through folding ornamental gates, which lead to a Doric portico, and thence to a spacious and handsome vestibule, paved with encaustic tiles. Broad stone staircases on each side give access to the galleries. These are continued round the whole building, except one which is occupied by the ark; they are at once solidly and lightly constructed, the openings of the masonry being filled with graceful iron scrollwork. Twisted iron shafts, coloured deep red and bronzed, support the galleries from the area below, which is reserved for the male portion of the congregation, and which has in the centre a raised platform for the reading-desk and the seats of the choir, surrounded by iron rails, according in design with those above. The ceiling is covered, and is very effectively divided by ornamentsl bands, the decorative character of which may be indicated by the familiar phrase “figure-of-eight pattern.” At the east end of the synagogue is the ark, concealed by a rich drapery of purple velvet embroidered with gold, the Hebrew inscription — “Hearken unto the prayers of Thy people Israel which they offer to Thee in this Holy Place” — being surmounted by a crown. The ark is a noble arched recess, supported by groups of columns; it is lighted from without through a semi-dome of amber or bright yellow glass. Above the ark, which is approached by marble steps, are two tablets of stained glass, bearing, in Hebrew, the Ten Commandments. The pure white of the architecture is delicately relieved in part by a tint of the lightest blue, which, on the iron tcrollwork, is in turn modified with slight touches of silver. The contractors who have carried out Mr. Collins's design are Meters Hill and Keddell, the ornamental mouldings having been executed by Messrs. Mabey; and the heating and ventilating apparatus is supplied by Messrs. May. The total cost of the building, inclusive of the schools for 160 children, has been £6000.”
You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Hathi Trust Digital Library and The University of Michigan Libray and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. — George P. Landow
“New Synagogue of the Jews in Walworth-road, Borough.” Illustrated London News. (4 May 1867): 449-50. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 26 December 2015.
Last modified 28 December 2015