This film is part of Free
Feast of Eid-ul-Fitr
The UK's first purpose-built mosque welcomes a huge crowd of worshippers - and newsreel cameras!
Proof that Britain's Muslim population was thriving in the 1920s, this film shows the UK's first purpose-built mosque. The Shah Jahan Mosque, on Woking's Oriental Road, was the hub for Britain's Islamic community in the early 20th century. During Eid-ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the mosque hosted a huge, eclectic crowd, including women, visiting dignitaries and Christian converts.
In 1924, when this item was shot, Britain was home to an estimated Muslim population of 10,000, including 1000 converts. These converts were typically influential, educated, high-profile individuals such as Lord Rowland George Headley, who campaigned for further mosques to be built in Britain. Today the Woking Mosque remains an important place of worship for the local community and a significant national landmark.