Religious history: Non christian faiths

Page 274

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 12, Chelsea. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2004.

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Although Jew's Row (later Queen's Road West) was built up by the early 19th century, (fn. 1) its name was not linked with any Jewish community. The Jews' burial ground at the corner of Fulham Road and Church (later Old Church) Street was not intended for Chelsea residents and served no local place of worship. (fn. 2)

Hammersmith and West Kensington synagogue at Brook Green (Hammersmith) was the nearest synagogue after its opening, as a constituent of the United Synagogue, in 1890. (fn. 3) Less distant was Fulham town hall, which Ashkenazim attended on high holydays (fn. 4) before the opening of Victoria and Chelsea (later Chelsea) synagogue (below). Chelsea's synagogue, which never attained the status of Hammersmith's, thereafter remained the only purposebuilt place of worship for Jews in the area.

Chelsea Synagogue, Smith Terrace, Smith St. Worship started in homes of Wolff Adler and Julius Nelken before purchase of 2-storeyed studio with synagogue seating 80 and classrooms, (fn. 5) where 1st-floor room registered at Red (later Synagogue) Ho. 1916; (fn. 6) ground floor used for mtgs. (fn. 7) Styled Victoria and Chelsea, admitted as associate of United Synagogue with 52 male seat-holders 1917 and as affiliated synagogue 1949. (fn. 8) High holyday worship in larger Welsh ch. in Radnor Walk, (fn. 9) and later in Chenil Galleries, no. 183 King's Rd. Rebuilt after purchase of adjoining plot as plain brick bldg, seating 216, in contemporary style by Cyril Adler 1959, when renamed Chelsea synagogue. (fn. 10) 75 seat-holders in 1950, 145 in 1960, 125 in 1970, c. 90 in 2000. (fn. 11)


Ahlul Beit Foundation registered ground floor and one room on 1st and 2nd floors of no. 31 Draycott Place, 1978. Still in use 1998, (fn. 12) but had closed or moved by 2001, when there were no Islamic places of worship in Chelsea. (fn. 13)


  • 1. Regency A to Z, 31.
  • 2. Above, Loc. Govt, pub. svces (burial).
  • 3. A. Newman, United Synagogue 1870-1970 (1976), 226-7.
  • 4. Inf. from Mr B. Glassner.
  • 5. Ibid.
  • 6. ONS Worship Reg. no. 46804.
  • 7. Places of Worship, 11.
  • 8. Newman, United Syn. 216, 222-3.
  • 9. Above, prot. nonconf. (Congs).
  • 10. Inf. from Mr B. Glassner.
  • 11. Newman, United Syn. 217; inf. from Mr Glassner.
  • 12. ONS Worship Reg. no. 74981; ONS, Official List of Certified Places of Worship (1998).
  • 13. Places of Worship, 2.