London Mosques Get Listed Status Celebrating Muslim Heritage

The London Central Mosque designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd will be listed

The London Central Mosque designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd will be listed

A mosque has been granted the highest protected building status for the first time after a reappraisal of the historic importance of Britain's Muslim places of worship.

Heritage Minister Michael Ellis said listing the mosques preserved important places of worship and celebrated the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England.

The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center in Regent's Park, central London, and the Fazl Mosque in the southwest of the British capital were both listed as Grade II buildings by the government's culture department.

A fund to establish a central London mosque was set up in 1910, but the Regent's Park location was only secured in the 1940s and building work was finally completed in 1977.

Built in 1889 in Woking, Surrey, the Shah Jahan mosque was the first purpose-built mosque in Britain.

The Fazl Mosque, Southfields, which was the first purpose-built mosque in London and only the second such building in Britain, has been given Grade II status.

Imam Hafiz Hashmi, Head Imam at the Shah Jahan Mosque, told The National that the upgrade is "excellent news for us, but also very good news for the whole Muslim community in the UK". It has been given Grade I listed status.

The Orientalist style mosque is now on the same standing such as Brighton Pavilion and Buckingham Palace, while the Salar Jung Memorial Hall which forms part of the complex is newly listed at Grade II.

The Georgian terraced house was bought in 1889 as a home for the Liverpool Muslim Institute, which was founded in 1887 by influential Muslim convert William Henry Quilliam.

"By listing these lovely mosques, we are not only preserving important places of worship, but also celebrating the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England".

Although there are around 1,500 mosques in Britain, fewer than 20 per cent are purpose-built according to Heritage England, which compiles the listings.

Duncan Wilson, Historic England chief executive, said the mosques were "exceptional places of worship".

The Central Mosque in Regent's Park.

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