Woking's Muslim Heritage

Saturday, June 11, 2011 - 16:47

The Shah Jahan Mosque

Opened in 1889, this is the oldest purpose built mosque in Britain. It was commissioned by Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner to provide a place of worship for Muslim students at the Oriental Institute. Its traditional Indo Saracen design has a dome, minarets and courtyard. Geometric patterns and Arabic calligraphy are used for decoration. During the first half of the 20th century it was the focus for the development of Islam in Britain and received many important and royal visitors. Now a Grade II listed building, the mosque welcomes visitors and offers guided tours for groups. Directions: 149 Oriental Road, Woking. The entrance drive is between the Railway Homes and the old James Walker Building and there is a car park on site. The mosque is a short walk (15 minutes) from the railway station; leave from platform five and turn left onto Oriental Road. The mosque is found on the left, before the Lion Retail Park. Contact: Shah Jehan Office Tel: 01483 760679 to arrange visits. Please avoid visiting on Fridays and at prayer times (usually 1-2pm).

The Muslim Burial Ground

This unique Grade II listed site is tucked away on the south east corner of Horsell Common. Bounded by ornate brick walls it has a domed archway entrance reflecting the design of the Shah Jehan Mosque. The site was built during the First World War to receive burials of Indian Army soldiers who died at the Indian Army Hospital in Brighton Pavilion. During the 1960s, the bodies were removed to the Military Cemetery at Brookwood. Opposite this site on the other side of Monument Road is a Bronze Age Bell Barrow about 100 metres back from the road via the footpath. Directions: East of Monument Road. From the small car park by the Britannia Wharf Office development by Monument Bridge, take the main footpath north. After about 100 metres the site can be seen through the trees on the right. Soure: http://www.woking.gov.uk/woking/heritage/muslim

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