St. Nicholas Street

ST. NICHOLAS STREET, off Castle-gate, is spoken of in 1255 as the " Venella Judiorum" or Jew Lane. As a matter of fact, it appears to have been the ghetto of Nottingham.

It is uncertain when the Jews made their first appearance in Nottingham, but as many of them followed the Conqueror’s army they probably arrived here during the second half of the Eleventh Century. They were denied many of the rights of citizenship perhaps their most striking hardship was that they were only allowed to bury their dead in one graveyard in England, and that was situated in London.

They congregated together for protection, and these colonies or ghettos were at length legalised to them. In Nottingham they appear to have lived on friendly and intimate terms with their neighbours in spite of their many civil disabilities and just grievances.

Gradually they fell into disfavour, and to discourage them a decree of 1253 forbade them to have synagogues anywhere unless they had existed during the reign of King John. During the Thirteenth Century they were taxed to the uttermost, and in 1222 they were compelled to wear a distinctive dress.

Falling lower and lower in the esteem of their fellow citizens, they were finally banished from the realm on July 27th, 1290, an edict affecting some 1,600 souls.