Lincoln Cathedral is famed for its great Christian heritage but its unique Jewish heritage and links to the famous medieval Jewish community in Lincoln, is still largely unknown.
This Jewish community of Lincoln was one of the most important in England in its time and the names of some of its leading personalities are still celebrated, including the famous scholar Rabbi Berechiah of Lincoln, and Aaron of Lincoln, who helped make the fortune of the Cistercian monasteries in the north and even loaned the money needed to build the Bishop's Palace.
This community made a vivid impression on the very fabric of Lincoln Cathedral, which is rich in Jewish associations and influences, shown in its art, architecture, artefacts and hidden symbolism of the Cathedral. Parts of the decorative design of the Cathedral may have direct Jewish influences, while the remains of the Shrine of Little Hugh are still one of the most controversial relics of medieval anti-Semitism in England.
This Trail was Featured in Simon Schama's, 'The Story of the Jews' documentary'
This innovative heritage trail explores Nazi slavery in the Pas de Calais in World War II and the 'Holocaust in Sight of England'. It creates a new European 'Trail of Memory' along the 'front-line' of Nazi slavery in Western Europe in memory of the victims of Nazi slavery. The trail included the 19+ Jewish slave labour camps along the coast created for Jews from across Europe as part of a system of 2300 slave labour camps specifically for Jews and some of the surviving sites of labour and memory associated with their feats of 'super-human labour'. The enslavement of many other groups and nations in the area is part of the trail of memory as well, as many Russians (including children as young as 12) were brought to the area, though at least 27 nations were enslaved in the Pas de Calais and in the Channel Islands, often employed in constructing the giant V-Weapon block houses further inland.
The former Jewish camp at Sangatte reminds us that the current 'camp' at Sangatte is not the first and that there is a long history of conflict in the region and that the great international forces of each era pushing marginalized and dispossessed peoples to the fringe of Europe. This trail has a message relevant to the present and future as slavery is still common across the world and takes many forms.
London has always been the center of Jewish life in this country and is the oldest place of Jewish settlement in England.
The Jews of England arrived first of all in London in the wake of William of Normandy's conquest of England. It is thought they arrived shortly afterwards, though the first documented reference to a Jewish quarter in London, only comes in c.1127, when they had arguably been there for some 50 years or more. Initially they were probably only a small group, only reinforced in numbers with Jews fleeing from the Rouen pogrom in 1096.
A visit to Canterbury is always well worth the effort and worth a special visit. The city is of exceptional interest, with its rich history, and buildings of national importance - its Cathedral and the ruins of St Augustine's Priory, the Castle and city walls, and a large number of surviving medieval and post medieval buildings in the city centre.
Added to this there is a rich Jewish history to be discovered in Canterbury both from the medieval and modern period. The sites of the medieval Jews are readily traceable and there are strong historical associations with more modern buildings such as the County Hotel