Wolverhampton's Listed Buildings

Jewish Burial Ground

Cockshutt Lane


The site (walls plus mortuary chapel) was awarded a Grade II statutory listing in 2008 in recognition of its historical and social importance and also as it is quite a rare survival even within a national context. By implication this listing includes all pre-1948 headstones within the boundary walls.


This long strip of land was given to the Wolverhampton Jewish Community in 1851 by the Duke of Sutherland for use as a burial ground - this is recorded on two dedication plaques.

Possibly it may have been a worked out mine before the donation but this is just conjecture.

The burial ground has considerable historical significance as a sacred area for a minority faith within the City and contains approximately 140 headstones/evidence of individual burials, but there may well be a significant number of unmarked graves as well - unfortunately no historic grave plot plan exists.  The site's boundary wall and Ohel (or mortuary chapel) date from 1884.    The last burial took place in 2000, and the burial ground is now full, Jewish custom only allow one burial per grave plot.  Burials in the Jewish Section of Merridale Cemetery in Jeffcock Road began in 1965 and increasingly this became a more popular choice than the old cemetery.

A plaque commemorating the opening of the burial ground. Courtesy of Martin Rispin.

The burial ground is not open to the public but, if you can get the chance to join an occasional guided tour, it is one of the most remarkable sights in Wolverhampton.  It is hemmed in by housing and factories and one of the busiest roads in Wolverhampton but within its high walls there seems to be quiet, order and peace.  It is astonishing to come across it, it has an ark-like quality - like a ship of souls serenely sailing through troubled waters.  Entry is only possible, given the physical configuration of the site, via a designated key holder.

We hope to soon have a good account of Wolverhampton's Jewish Community on this website (there is an interesting study by William King available in the City Archives).  Suffice it to say here that the Orthodox Jewish Community has become so small that it no longer runs its own Synagogue and thus this associated burial ground might be considered 'at risk' for a variety of reasons.  We hope that the Council will be able to help get funding to restore the Ohel and make good use off the rest of the site and there are positive signs that this is now (mid 2010) beginning to be planned for. 

A second commemorative plaque. Courtesy of Martin Rispin.

The text was kindly supplied by Martin Rispin.