Cornwall

'Unique' Jewish cemetery restored in Penzance

gravestones
Image caption There are only two Jewish cemeteries in Cornwall and English Heritage says Penzance cemetery is the best preserved of its kind in the UK

A "unique" Jewish cemetery in Penzance has been restored thanks to a £25,000 lottery grant.

The Georgian burial ground is said to be the best preserved of its kind in the UK.

The custodians of the cemetery hope the Grade 2 site will be expanded for community and educational projects.

Penzance town council and other donors also contributed towards the restoration of the site.

The cemetery was established in around the 1740s according to the town council, and contains about 50 headstones with Jewish and English inscriptions said to be of "an exceptional quality".

Keith Pearce, who looks after the Penzance cemetery on behalf of the Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was "a unique historic site".

Image caption Mr Pearce said the intention was for the Penzance Jewish cemetery to be the focus for community and educational projects

"It's part of Penzance's exotic past. In the 18th Century, Penzance, Falmouth and Truro were very cosmopolitan ports.

"The Jews who arrived here would have arrived alongside French people, Spanish people and people from the West Indies - and they were welcomed because they were helping an expanding economy to survive."

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