What is Jews' Court?
Jews' Court is a fine stone building in the heart of the historic city of Lincoln. In 1930 it was derelict and due for demolition. Lincolnshire Architectural and Archaeological Society (LAAS) made strong objection and were given the building by Lincoln Corporation on condition it was refurbished.
Since then it has been successively the HQ of LAAS, a diocesan office, a probation office, a charity shop and an arts centre. It is now the HQ of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. It is owned by the Jews' Court Trust.
There have been so many alterations over the years it is difficult to date the building. The architects' view is 17th Century. The archaeologists say: after 1300. In fact there has been no detailed archaeological survey and, so far, no documents have been discovered giving proof of its construction date.
By tradition it is the site of the medieval synagogue and central to Lincoln's Jewry. There are a number of pointers to this being a possibility but, as yet, no signs of any proof. The mystery remains.
It is next door to the renowned 12th Century Jew's House, which by tradition was occupied by the Rabbi.
Jews' Court is included in the recently created JTrail for Lincoln. (JTrails have been devised to give a wide range of information about Anglo-Jewish history in several of our cities.)
As the HQ of SLHA it houses offices, a lecture room and library. It also has the best local history bookshop in the County and stocks postcards. There is also a large second hand book department. In addition it is the centre for Jewish worship in Lincoln.
Witham U3A group have posted a report of a recent visit to Jews' Court on their website.