final issue 30 web - Flipbook - Page 7
HRH The Prince of Wales visits
Merthyr Tydfil’s Historic Synagogue
and learns of its plans to become
a Welsh Jewish Heritage Centre.
The Foundation for Jewish Heritage had the honour of hosting a visit by His Royal
Highness The Prince of Wales to the historic, grade II listed former synagogue in
Merthyr Tydfil in Wales.
This was the first visit by His Royal Highness to the
synagogue, and he was welcomed by leaders of the Foundation - Chair Dame Helen Hyde DBE, Founder and
Chief Executive Michael Mail, Trustees the Rt Hon Jim
Murphy and Stephen Goldman, along with Conservation
Architect Ashley Davies.
The visit began with The Prince viewing the building’s
impressive Victorian Gothic exterior and, as he walked
through the building, The Prince received an explanation
of the history of the Jewish community of Merthyr, and
the Foundation’s future plans to turn the site into a Welsh
Jewish Heritage Centre.
The Prince was shown photographs of the building’s
interior when it served as a synagogue as well as artist
impressions of what it will look like once transformed into
the proposed Heritage Centre.
Below, Michael Mail, His Royal Highness and the Rt Hon
At the end of the visit, The Prince was presented with a
striking lino print of the building.
Merthyr Tydfil synagogue was built in the 1870s and
functioned until 1983 when the Jewish community
formally came to a close. The building was then sold and
used for various purposes. However, it has been unoccupied since 2006 and its condition had deteriorated to the
extent that it was formally designated as being at risk by
Cadw, the Welsh Government’s historic environment
The Foundation bought the building in 2019 and carried
out urgent repairs in 2020, with 50% funding coming from
Cadw. More recently, a business plan for the Heritage Centre was completed in preparation for a National Lottery
Heritage Fund submission. When completed, the Centre
will present the remarkable 250+ year Jewish experience
in Wales, provide a new cultural venue for Merthyr, and
promote inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue.