There follows a description of the architecture of Bradford Synagogue, as it appeared in the Bradford Daily Telegraph when the building first opened in 1881.
This place of Jewish worship is very distinctive, being Moorish in style and a Grade II listed building, though unfortunately it is now rather hidden amongst neighbouring buildings.
Exterior of Bradford Synagogue on Bowland Street
“The style of architecture adopted is oriental in character, and to obtain contrast of colour, bands of red stone are used in conjunction with the local ashlar. The synagogue has four two-light windows on the north front and three on the south, the lights being divided by slender columns carrying tracery of appropriate character, enclosed by ogee-headed arches.
The principal doorway in Bowland Street has a cusped and pointed arch, carried by four slender shafts of red stone, with carved capitals and well-moulded bases. The spandrels are filled with carved arabesques, and the following inscriptions in Hebrew:
Hebrew inscription at Bradford Synagogue
Moorish Interior of Bradford Reform Synagogue, built 1881.
“Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation, which keepeth the truth, may enter in”
(Isaiah XXVI, 2)
Above the cornice is carried a light stone balustrade. A cornice, finished with deep parapet, pierced and scalloped is carried along the front of the synagogue, the centre portion being raised to admit a large panel which contains a Hebrew inscription from Genesis XXVIII, 17:
“How awesome is this place! This is none other but the house of G-d, and this is the gate of heaven”
Above is a circular medallion, enclosing the device known as the Shield of David (Magen David), an ornament also used in
the vestry doorway and elsewhere.
The American author
and writer Diana Muir Appelbaum visited the Synagogue in April 2013, and wrote about the Synagogue’s architecture from a modern day technical perspective.
Website of American author Diana Muir Appelbaum