the jewish burial ground

Florence Place

Abandoned Jewish Graveyard

For the last 6 years or so, this little Jewish Burial Ground in Florence Place has nestled disregarded and ignored on the hill just above the Waste Tranfer Site, The Waste Destructor and the Abattoir. 

Even though it has been forgotten about and has not been walked or maintained in the intervening period, it is a wonderful haven of calm where it is very easy to forget its central location between 2 arterial routes into Brighton.

Originally a gift to the Congregation of Brighton Synagogue from Thomas Reed Kemp, the man who was responsible for Kemptown, this little graveyard has many notable local Jewish figures buried within.

I first discovered this place whilst trying to establish the last resting place of Frederick Isaac Gold, a local antiques trader who was brutally slain, shot stabbed and thrown from an express train in the Bsalcombe Tunnel for a few gold coins and a pocket watch by the infamous Victorian murderer, Percy Lefroy Mapleton.

ABOVE: This little octagonal chapel sits immediately inside the gateway of the Burial Ground, just off Florence Place behind the Jolly Brewer pub. It is a very recognisable little building and can be seen from most of East Brighton if anyone were to go looking for it. Sadly, whilst the graveyard has been untouched for the last 6 years, the little chapel has lain dormant for the duration.It is a very pretty building and has a very ornate exterior typical of buildings of this era. 

ABOVE: This stone plaque is in the wall just inside the enterance gate on the left, next to the chapel. It reads:

"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)" 

ABOVE: These sinks are at  the rear of the chapel and were for the preparation of cut flowers for memorials. Surprisingly, yes, the taps still work and there is running water even after 6 years of stagnation. 

LEFT & RIGHT: Although this place has a fantastic feel of calm, you are always left very aware of the encroachment o modern life by the glimpses of modern buildings around the site: The bungalow that replaced the Dustyard Warden's House is seen on the left, the Waste Transfer Depot is seen (looming like a huge malevolent UFO) on the right, on the site of the old abattoir. 


Famous faces, former glories...