Florence Place Jewish Cemetery
Local listing is different to statutory listing; it does not provide further legislative controls. and does not affect when planning permission is required. However, when planning permission is required, the ‘special interest’ of a locally listed heritage asset will be taken into account. In 2013 the council asked for nominations for inclusion in the list; over five hundred submissions were considered. The Local List of Heritage Assets was adopted on 18th June 2015, it will be reviewed in 2020; other items in the current list can be seen here.
The sign at the entrance to Florence Place Jewish Cemetery shows that ‘This freehold burial ground is the benevolent gift of Tho(mas) Read Kemp Esq to the Congregation of the Brighton Synagogue 5576 (Jewish calendar) 1826 (Christian calendar). The congregation raised funds so that the cemetery was extended to the north and south in the late nineteenth century. The space is rectangular and slopes slightly to the south: grave markers are arranged in rows with a central pathway.
The cemetery chapel is Grade II listed and was designed by Lainson & Son, built by Messrs Garrett. Its single storey walls are gauged red brick set in Flemish bond; it has a tiled roof. The design is an octagonal ‘Queen Anne’ style, the faces are separated by broad buttress like piers about seven feet high, surmounted by consoles. The entrance is in the west front and is flat-arched with moulded architrave.
The windows are round-arched with moulded architraves. The shallow octagonal roof has a wrought iron finial and a parapet decorated with terracotta panels. There are two sinks on the south side to cater for the Jewish tradition of people having to wash their hands as they leave the ‘presence’ of death.
Among the graves in Florence Place Jewish Cemetery are those of Henry Solomon first Jewish Chief Constable, who was murdered in Brighton: Sir John Howard engineer and philanthropist; Emmanuel Cohen, founder and first editor of the Brighton Guardian, and Hyam Lewis, Town Commissioner in Brighton, who was the first Jew to hold office in a British municipality.