Singers Hill Synagogue, Birmingham

Singers Hill Synagogue in central Birmingham is the city’s oldest centre for Jewish worship.

Opened in 1856 it is not in fact the city’s oldest Jewish place of worship. The current building replaced an older synagogue, built in the the Greek revival style, that was constructed in 1813.

The ornateness of today’s building reflects the wealth and standing of Birmingham’s mid-19th Century Jewish community. Its exterior is relatively unobtrusive, although features like the arched entrance do hark back to an idealised conception of religious buildings in the middle east and Levant.

Inside the synagogue the interior decoration, whilst lush, is incredibly similar to that of many other Victorian civic buildings, for instance Birmingham Town Hall. In this regard the main worship hall whilst taking its stylistic cues first and foremost from the architecture of the ancient rather than the medieval world, is in fact rather reminiscent of the interiors of 19th Century “gothic” Anglican churches.

Today the synagogue works to be open to the community. It has participated in the Birmingham Post’s Hidden Spaces scheme, which works to open up some of the city’s most interesting buildings to the public.


A Glimpse Inside Birmingham’s Oldest Synagogue