Bet Tohorah at Jacob's Wells Road

Bristol

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Tagged With

Medieval

Data Source

English Heritage

County Council (Unitary)

Bristol City Council

Parish

Bristol

Parliamentary Constituency

Bristol West

Grid Reference

SJ577577 (357691, 172862)

WGS84 Coordinates

51.4527, -2.60896

Nearest Postcode

BS8 1DQ

The nearest postcode is an aid to location, and does not necessarily reflect the actual address of the monument. Most scheduled monuments are not occupied buildings and have no postal address or postcode of their own. In rural and coastal areas, the nearest geocodable postal address may be several miles away.


Notes

A medieval bet tohorah situated on the western side of Jacob's Well Road, stylistically dated to c1140. Bet tohorah are 'cleansing houses' used in the Jewish burial ceremony and this is the only known example in this country. It is located near to the Jewish cemetery known as Jew's Acre, which was established after 1177. The structure is situated partly inside and partly outside a building at the junction of Jacob's Well Road and Constitution Hill. It comprises a small rock cut chamber entered via a low rectangular arch and two stone steps. There is an inscription in Hebrew on the lintel over the arch. South of this chamber, below the floor of the present building, is a stone chamber containing standing water. The Hebrew inscription has been interpreted as meaning 'living waters', a phrase used in Hebrew to describe the type of sacred water required to cleanse a person after contact with a corpse. The site was discovered in 1987 and surveyed in 1988. It had not been fully excavated in May 2002.

English Heritage

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