The British Mosque

BookThe British Mosque

The British Mosque

An architectural and social history

Historic England


March 15th, 2018





This book presents the first overview of Muslim architecture in Britain, from the earliest examples in the late 19th century, to mosques being built today. Key architectural stages are identified and explained alongside the social history of Muslim settlement and growth. The analysis focuses on the way in which the mosque as a new cultural and architectural form has benefitted into the existing urban fabric of Britain’s towns and cities, and how this new building type has then impacted its urban landscape, socially, culturally and architecturally. The British Mosque is an architectural as well as a social history, and describes the evolution of Britain’s Muslim communities through the buildings they have built. By presenting this architectural narrative for the first time, the book opens up a new field of British Islamic Architecture. The architectural story charts a course from the earliest mosques formed through the conversion of houses, to other large scale conversions through to purpose built mosques and with these the emergence of an Islamic architectural expression in Britain. As the mosque is not solely considered in terms of its architectural style, but also from its social history and cultural meaning, this book provides an observation into the character of British Muslim life and practice and how these have been embodied through its buildings. The future of Islamic architecture in Britain is also considered, and how this will be affected by the growing cultural and social diversification of Britain’s Muslim communities.

This book is a major contribution to architectural history ad to wider cultural understanding. ... 'The British Mosque' is a fascinating book, and fills a major gap int he architectural history of these islands.
Philip Wilkinson, English Buildings Blog

Architect Shahed Saleem's marvellous 'The British Mosque: An Architectural and Social History', is an indispensable guide to Britain's approximately 1,300 mosques.
Ed Husain, The Spectator

Author Information

Architect, Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Westminster, London.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
1 Introduction – mosques and Muslims in Britain
2 The first mosques
3 Adaptation and transformation – a new era of mosque-making
4 Building mosques – new identities, new architecture
5 Making Muslim landmarks and institutions
6 New century, new historicism
7 New narratives
8 Surveying the landscape – 130 years of the mosque in Britain
Appendix 1 Selected additional examples of
a) house mosques,
b) conversions from other places of worship,
c) conversions from public buildings and other building types, and
d) purpose-built mosques
Appendix 2 Maps of three areas of the UK showing mosque locations overlaid with the density of the Muslim population and levels of social deprivation