The discovery of two medieval mikva’ot in London and a reinterpretation of the Bristol ‘mikveh’

London’s medieval Jewry was a late-eleventh-century offshoot from that of Rouen. In culture and economy the two Jewries remained closely linked until the loss of Normandy in 1204. Josce the Rabbi and his sons Isaac and Abra? ham, who led the community for much of the century, built the magna scola, the principal synagogue, behind the family home at the northeast end of Old Jewry. Here, in the Jewish court, in close proximity to the scola, one would expect to find the mikveh, with other communal facilities such as butchery, baths, ovens and hospitium nearby, the last referred to in a starr of 1266. By the late twelfth century the magnates Isaac of Lincoln and Jurnet of Norwich had mansions on Lothbury, giving direct access to this court.1

The site of the Jewry is first referred to in a St Paul’s survey c. 1127, in which lands are described as

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