The Great Synagogue of London was, for centuries, the centre of Ashkenazi Jewish life in London. The earliest Ashkenazi synagogue constructed in London after the return of Jews to England in the 17th century was built about 1690 at Duke's Place, north of Aldgate. The congregation grew, and in 1722 a new building was erected with the cost of £2000 being born by businessman and philanthropist, Moses Hart. The building was consecrated on Rosh Hashana (September 18, 1722). An enlarged building, designed by George Dance the Elder, was consecrated on August 29, 1766.
Between 1788 and 1790, the third synagogue was built on the site. Unusually for the times, the principal donor was a woman, Judith Hart Levy, a daughter of Moses Hart, who subscribed £4000. The architect was James Spiller. The building was in the classical style identified with John Adam. Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild (1840-1915) was elected Warden of the Great Synagogue in May 1872.
The Great Synagogue was destroyed in the London Blitz on May 10, 1941.