Did you know about this synagogue?

THERE IS SOMETHING curious about a small building on Kensington Park Road (near to London’s Portobello Road). Above its centrally located, west-facing front door, there are three tall windows topped with semi-circular arches. In each of these windows, there is a circular pane of glass painted white.

If you look at the circular panes carefully, you will notice that, almost obscured by the paint, there is a six-pointed star, the Jewish Magen David. Inside the building, there is a large hall flanked by galleries at the first-floor level. The galleries are supported by metal columns topped with decorative capitals. High up on the east wall of the building, there is a circular stained-glass window. The glass depicts a Magen David: it has not been concealed by paint.

In the former synagogue on Kensington Park Road

Did you know that this building, now much modified, was one of two synagogues in the Bayswater/Notting Hill area of west London? The other, still functioning, is on St Petersburgh Place near Bayswater Road.

I will not tell you any more about these two synagogues, one defunct and the other working, and west London Jewish communities, because you can read about them ( and much more) in my book “Beyond Marylebone and Mayfair: Exploring West London”. You can buy the book from Amazon (https://www.amazon.co.uk/BEYOND-MARYLEBONE-MAYFAIR-EXPLORING-LONDON/dp/B0B7CR679W/), or if you prefer to support independent bookshops, you can order a copy from a lovely bookshop near the former synagogue on Kensington Park Road: Lutyens & Rubinstein (21 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2EU).

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