I visited Sandys Row Synagogue in Spitalfields as part of Open House London and was impressed both by the warm welcome and the interior which is much more beautiful than its exterior would suggest. The building started out as L’Eglise de L’Artillerie (the Artillery Church) in 1766 being consecrated as a synagogue in 1876 for the Dutch Ashkenazi Jews, economic migrants who had begun moving to the area in the 1840s.
I arrived in time for one of the talks about the history of the founders and how The Society for Comfort of the Mourners, Kindness, and Truth raised the funds to purchase the building and got Nathan Solomon Joseph, apparently a famous synagogue architect, to remodel the building.
Many of the original features of the Georgian interior were kept including the balcony which you were allowed to to sit in and which became the women’s section. It was surprisingly light and airy given its relatively small size aided no doubt by the white paint scheme and clear glass windows.
One of the friendliest places I visited during Open House, you can find some more photos here.