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Hull Jewish Archive Committee

Places of interest

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Market Place
Liberty Lane - First Jews
Customs House - 1 Market Place
32-33 Posterngate - The Harry Lazarus Hotel
Market Square
Hull Hebrew Congregation Synagogue - 7 Robinson Row
Posterngate Synagogue
Princes Quarry Shopping Center - Parade Row Synagogue
Osborne Street - Hull Old Hebrew Congregation Synagogue
55 Carr Lane - The Duveens
Anlaby Road - The Hull School of Art
Midland Street / Anlaby Road - Salvation Army Icehouse Citadel
Anlaby Road - Emigrants' Waiting Room

1. Market Place

A gilt equestrian statue of William III by Peter Scheemakers stands close to the southern end of the Market Place, at the heart of the town's original Jewish quarter. In 1788 a great jubilee was organized in Hull to mark
the centenary of King William's victory over the Catholic James II. The statue was decorated by a triumphal arch and, according to the historian George Hadley, the Jews of Hull testified their loyalty by providing an elegant
crown to be suspended over the king's head. It was presented to the Corporation by a local jeweller, Aaron Jacobs,on behalf of the Jewish community which then numbered six or seven families.

2. Liberty Lane - First Jews

The first Jew discovered in Hull so far is Israel Benjamin who visited the town in 1734. Claiming to be a convert to Christianity, he presented himself at Holy Trinity church where he was given a charitable payment of five shillings. There is no evidence to show that he settled in Hull. The earliest known Jewish resident was Isaac Levy who occupied a property in Church Lane (close to the present Liberty Lane) from at least 1766.

3. Customs House - 1 Market Place

From 1793 until the Aliens Act of 1905 came into force, foreign immigrants including Jews were required to declare their name and other details to a Customs officer at their port of entry. During 1815 Hull's new Custom House was established in the former Neptune Inn, built by Trinity House during 1794-7. These premises, which still bear the name 'Custom House Buildings', were taken over by the Post Office in 1912.

4. 32-33 Posterngate - The Harry Lazarus Hotel

A heritage plaque records that 32-33 Posterngate was known as the Harry Lazarus Hotel during the 1870s and 1880s, when it was used to feed European transmigrants on their way to America and Canada. It was among many
emigrant lodging houses licensed by the Town Council but is the only one in Hull to have survived. The building is owned by Hull Trinity House and its interior is largely unchanged, with hotel numbers remaining on some of the
doors. Harry Lazarus himself was born about 1834 at Altona in Germany, and a man of this name was buried in the Jewish cemetery at Delhi Street in 1906.

5. Market Square

As late as the 1960s, a high proportion of traders in the Market Place were Jewish

6. Hull Hebrew Congregation Synagogue - 7 Robinson Row

This was established in 1826 at 7 Robinson Row, with access through a covered passageway leading from the street. During 1851-2 it was almost entirely rebuilt to accommodate the town's rapidly growing Jewish community. Seats were provided for 200 men on the ground floor and 80 women in the gallery. However, the escalating pace of immigration soon led to further overcrowding
and to growing tension between the newcomers and long-established members. By the end of the nineteenth century the Jewish population of Hull had risen to about 2,000 and in 1902 a number of anglicised families finally broke away to set up the Western Synagogue in Linnaeus Street. The remaining group now resolved to build a new synagogue in Osborne Street and to rename themselves the Hull Old Hebrew Congregation. The Robinson Row premises were later used as a piano factory and were demolished in 1928.

7. Posterngate Synagogue

Hull's first synagogue was founded in 1780 on the site of a small Roman Catholic chapel damaged by a mob at the time of the Gordon Riots. It was on the north side of Posterngate at the end of a narrow passage, nearly opposite the entrance to Dagger Lane. The Jewish community rented the chapel and restored it as a neat and convenient synagogue, attended by twenty to thirty people at the close of the eighteenth century.

8. Princes Quarry Shopping Center - Parade Row Synagogue

Following disagreements among the Posterngate membership in 1809, a group led by Joseph Lyon(pawnbroker and silversmith) withdrew to set up a new synagogue in Parade Row. The two groups were reunited in 1826 to form the Hull Hebrew Congregation, and the Parade Row site was later incorporated into the Junction Dock. It is now part of the Princes Quay Shopping Centre; walk through the centre to reach Osborne Street.

9. Osborne Street - Hull Old Hebrew Congregation Synagogue

This was built during 1902-3 in Osborne Street to the west of the Old Town. The rectangular red-brick building was reached through a pair of ornamental iron gates leading into a court beyond. There were 350 seats for men on the ground floor and a further 350 for women in the gallery. The building was renovated in 1913 and during 1931-32 it was substantially altered with an imposing doorway at the western end. The synagogue was badly damaged during successive air-raids during 1941 although the beth hamedrash (literally house of study) to the south remained usable. The bimah (raised platform) survived the blitz and was later acquired by the Singers Hill congregation in Birmingham. A new synagogue and social centre on the same site were completed in 1955. In 1989, when the Jewish population of Hull had fallen to about 1,100, the building was sold and later used as a night club. In due course, Hull's two orthodox synagogues merged as the Hull Hebrew Congregation, and their new joint premises in Pryme Street, Anlaby were consecrated in 1995.

10. 55 Carr Lane - The Duveens

Joseph Joel Duveen was an enterprising young salesman who came to Hull from Holland in 1866. Three years later he married Rosetta, the daughter of Abraham Barnett, a local pawnbroker who was then trading at 50 Carr Lane. J.J. Duveen prospered greatly as an art dealer and was a generous benefactor to many public galleries. His son, another Joseph Joel, also became a distinguished
art dealer and a great philanthropist. In 1933 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Duveen of Millbank, commemorating a long association with the Tate Gallery. The Duveens maintained their links with Hull by presenting works of art now in the Guildhall collection and the Ferens Art Gallery. Lord Duveen died in 1939 and in due course, the Ferens Gallery was presented with eighteen items from his estate. They reflect his enthusiasm for the avant-garde of his day, and include oil paintings by David Bomberg and Stanley Spencer.

11. Anlaby Road - The Hull School of Art

The Hull School of Art was established in 1861 with the aim of teaching applied art and industrial design for the benefit of local manufacturers. The chairman of its founding committee was the silversmith and jeweller Bethel Jacobs,a member of a cultured and influential family. He was honorary secretary of the Hull area committee which assembled a group of objects to be shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851, as well as organizing an associated local exhibition. It was largely due to his efforts that the prestigious annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Science was held in Hull during 1853 despite strong competition from Glasgow and Liverpool. Jacobs was also a member of the building committee for the Royal Institution in Albion Street - a major social and cultural centre which opened in 1853. The School of Art was affiliated to the Institution in 1875 and moved to its Anlaby Road site in 1905.

12. Midland Street / Anlaby Road - Salvation Army Icehouse Citadel

This was registered as a place of worship in 1902, taking its name from an earlier mission hall, originally used for the storage of ice. In Hull, as elsewhere, the Salvation Army was vigorous in its efforts to convert the urban poor, including Jewish immigrants. Ironically, the Icehouse Citadel was leased to the Hull Old Hebrew Congregation for use during the High Festivals while they waited for their bombed synagogue to be rebuilt after the Second World War.

13. Anlaby Road - Emigrants' Waiting Room

In 1871 the North Eastern Railway Company built a waiting room for transmigrants on Anlaby Road, close to Hull Paragon Station. This helped to reduce a possible threat to the health of local inhabitants and offered a shelter where passengers could make contact with reputable ticket agents. The building was enlarged in 1881 to provide separate rooms and washing facilities for men and women. Trains with as many as seventeen carriages set off from a long platform at the back of the waiting room, many of them on their way to Liverpool via Leeds. The number of migrants using the waiting room began to fall in 1907 when a dockside rail terminus was built, and the decline continued after the First World War as immigration quotas were imposed by the United States. It closed in 1999 but was reopened in 2003 as a club for Hull City supporters.

A plaque in Paragon Station commemorates the 2.2 million people who passed through the Emigration Platform, Hull on their way to America, Canada or South Africa. Among them were about half a million European Jews, hoping to find a better life elsewhere.


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