|United Synagogue Willesden Cemetery||Brent|
The United Synagogue Cemetery at Willesden was founded in 1873 and laid out to a design by Nathan Joseph. It is entered through imposing gates, with brick piers and a substantial lodge; within the cemetery is good planting of trees including horse chestnuts, poplars, cedar. Many distinguished Jews are buried here and some of the plots have railed enclosures with extravagant metalwork and fine marble and granite.
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The United Synagogue Cemetery at Willesden was founded in 1873 and laid out to a design by Nathan Joseph, whose buildings in English Gothic style each served a particular purpose within the complicated burial procedures and were described in detail in 'The Builder' vol 31 in 1873. Hugh Meller describes it as 'the Rolls Royce among Jewish cemeteries' and many distinguished Jews are buried here including numerous members of the Rothschild family such as Sir Anthony de Rothschild (d.1876) who was the first president of the United Synagogue in 1870; Baron Meyer de Rothschild (d.1874) who built Mentmore and Charlotte, Baroness de Rothschild (d.1884) who supported young musicians and set up a soup kitchen in the East End. Other notable people include Sir Charles Clore who was a director of the Ritz; Sir Joseph Duveen who financed the Turner Galleries at the Tate Britain (d.1909); Lord Duveen of Millbank (d.1939), an art dealer who supported many art galleries in Britain; Sir Israel Gollancz (d.1930) author and Professor of English Literature at London University who has a granite monument with a quotation from Beowolf inscribed on it; and Mrs Sarah Meredith, sister of the Earl of Beaconsfield. Many of the plots have railed enclosures with extravagant metalwork and fine marble and granite is plentiful. It is entered through imposing gates, with brick piers and a substantial lodge; within the cemetery is good planting of horse chestnuts, poplars, cedar.
A well-maintained cemetery with plants and paths, it is compared to Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris by Hugh Meller. South of the chapels the planting is minimal to offset a sea of gravestones, while off Tower Road the gates are vandalised and barricaded.
Hugh Meller & Brian Parsons, 'London Cemeteries, An Illustrated Guide and Gazetteer', 4th edition (The History Press, 2008); C Webb revised ed of P Wolfston 'Greater London Cemeteries and Crematoria', Society of Genealogists, 1994; Willesden Past and Present, 4th Edition.