Jewish Culture in the National Heritage List for England
Historic England works to advance heritage interests such as those of the Jewish faith and Jewish culture through the accessible vehicle that the NHLE provides. This is a key aim of our Inclusion, Diversity and Equality strategy. A recent project provides an example of our activity here.
The team at Oxford university, leading the collaborative AHRC project titled ‘Jewish Country Houses - Objects, Networks and People’ , quickly became aware that several key listed sites made no reference to significant Jewish histories and would benefit from such enhancement, notably the incorporation of relevant information about their associations with prominent Jewish individuals and families.
After productive discussion, a list of 28 suggested enhancements was submitted to Historic England in August 2018. The University team provided expert research, and took great care to ensure their suggestions adhered to our corporate house style, as well as the style of the existing List entry. We implemented these valuable contributions, and identified 15 further opportunities to enhance associated List entries, bringing the total number of enhanced List entries to 43.
See for example the List Entry for Hughenden Manor, now setting out more clearly the property’s relationship with Disraeli (twice a British Prime Minister who was born into a Sephardic Jewish family), and the entry enriched with a wealth of fine images, inside and out, that capture the rich colour and splendour of this fine country house.
We are keen to see more enrichments for Sir David Salomons’ House and its estate in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. This was built for Sir David (1797-1873), the Jewish Merchant Banker, Lord Mayor of London in 1855 and MP for Greenwich.