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Government gives listing protection to four British mosques

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Ministers have increased the heritage protection for a number of UK mosques by either listing them or upgrading existing listed status

Sir Frederick Gibberd’s 1970s London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in Regent’s Park, London, was given Grade II* listed status.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport also followed Historic England advice in awarding Grade II listing to T H Mawson and Sons’ 1920s Fazl Mosque in Southfields, south-west London.

Meanwhile two pre-20th-century buildings of significance in Islamic history in the UK had their protection upgraded.

Britain’s first purpose-built mosque, the 1889-completed Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking, was upgraded to Grade I status.

And the home of Britain’s first functioning mosque, the Georgian 8 Brougham Terrace in Liverpool, was upgraded to Grade II*. In December 1889 the building became the first fully-functioning mosque in England with established community worship.

Elsewhere the list entry of Bradford’s Grade II listed Howard Street Mosque was updated to reflect its importance as an example of a ‘house mosque’, converted from a domestic dwelling into a place of worship.

Historic England has published a book titled The British Mosque: An architectural and social history. Written by Shahed Saleem, it is thought to be the first overview of Islamic architecture in Britain, according to the publisher.

About 1,500 mosques are thought to currently exist in Britain, with fewer than 20 per cent of them purpose-built.

Heritage minister Michael Ellis said: ‘Our historic buildings tell the story of Britain’s past and the people, places and events that shaped them. By listing these beautiful mosques, we are not only preserving important places of worship, but also celebrating the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England.’

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