Restoration work on the 19th century Jewish section of Glasgow’s historic Necropolis cemetery has been completed — and the Jewish community has now issued a £1 million appeal for aid for renovation work in two other Jewish cemeteries there — Glenduffhill and Riddrie — which, warns the Glasgow Hebrew Burial Society, need “urgent, extensive repair.”
It is estimated that 90 percent of funds will go to the restoration of the Glenduffhill cemetery, which was was opened in 1933 and is now the main active cemetery for the Orthodox Glasgow Jewish Community — it has almost 8000 graves. The Hebrew Burial Society reports that many of its paths and graves “are now in a very poor condition.” Planned restored includes the repair of paths and kerbstones and repositioning of tilting, unstable or fallen headstones.
The Riddrie cemetery opened in 1905 under the auspices of South Portland Street Synagogue and was taken over by the Society in the early 1970s, when the synagogue closed and the cemetery neared full capacity. “As a result of disuse, this Cemetery has suffered badly from lack of maintenance and vandalism,” the Society says. Hebrew Burial Society restoration plans include the repositioning of unstable or fallen headstones and repairing kerbs.
The grounds at Riddrie are under the control of Land and Environmental Services at Glasgow City Council, who are strong supporters of this project, and they have indicated their willingness to improve and sustain the overall landscaping condition of the area.
NOTE: Information on the headstones in both cemeteries has already been digitized, and their details were uploaded to the internet earlier this year as searchable databases.
The appeal was launched at the same time that restoration work was completed on the Jewish section of the Necropolis Cemetery.
As we reported in August, the Jewish section of the Necropolis Cemetery was one of eight historic sites in Scotland to share in a £1.6 million grant from Historic Scotland to open historic sites to the public.
The aim of the restoration was
to repair and restore fifteen fallen headstones, a staircase and rubble wall, as well as installing a handrail and posts to increase accessibility.
There were also plans to install a viewing area and information boards outlining the history of the graveyard.
The Jewish community acquired the Jewish enclosure at the Necropolis around 1832; no burials have taken place since the 1850s.
The cemetery was rededicated at the end of November at a ceremony that also included the unveiling of a commemorative plaque to the 57 people buried there.