This film is part of Free

Oriental Atmosphere

Britain's oldest mosque welcomes a vast crowd of worshippers, visitors, curious onlookers and the odd newsreel camera!

Non-Fiction 1928 1 mins Silent


The arrival of Islam in Britain was clearly a source of fascination for the newsreel companies - this is one of several stories featuring Britain's first purpose-built mosque, the Shah Jahan Mosque in Woking. We see turbaned men knelt in prayer and embracing each other in a relaxed moment of celebration - probably during the Eid al-Fitr festival, which attracted vast crowds annually.

The Shah Jahan Mosque, on Woking's Oriental Road, was Britain's central Islamic hub for much of the 20th century. During the annual Eid al-Fitr ceremony, which marks the end of Ramadan, the mosque welcomed hundreds of worshippers from around the country, as well as foreign dignitaries. Here, as in Feast of Eid-ul-Fitr (1924) and Moslem Festival at Woking (1928), prayers take place outside of the mosque itself - perhaps to accommodate the vast numbers of visitors, curious onlookers, and newsreel cameras!