The Abdullah Quilliam Heritage Centre Plans
The AQS has exciting plans and projects that it wishes to carry out in the new Heritage Centre and School. The AQS want to restore the original Mosque for use and restore its features. We wish to recreate the library, museum, lecture hall, residences, school and college. We will create a visitor centre where Muslims and non- Muslims can come to see this historic site and learn about Islam and Muslim history in the UK and Europe. There will be a museum and exhibitions on Quilliam and his fellow Muslims. There will be lectures, seminars and conferences with a chance to learn about Islam for non-Muslims. We will also carry out further research and prepare archives on British Muslim history. The building next door will be purchased and used as and extension to the Mosque, and as an Islamic School and conference centre. It will be used for, marriage ceremonies and special events and as a support centre for new Muslims.
Background to the AQS
The Abdullah Quilliam Society (AQS) is a UK registered charity founded in 1998 by a small group of Liverpool Muslims, including Akbar Ali, Galib Khan, and Somaya Macteer. They became aware of a unique heritage of Islam in Victorian Britain, in the city of Liverpool. This history was located in the Liverpool City Council registry office for births, deaths and marriages. This building was once the site of the historic first UK Mosque, Muslim community Institutions and Dawah activities of Sheikh Abdullah (William Henry) Quilliam. Staff at the registry office would often refer to the room where all the files of births, deaths and marriages were kept as “the little Mosque” without realising the significance or history behind it. So by an amazing coincidence of history almost every Liverpool resident for a decade has visited this historic building and many have had their marriage ceremony performed in it.
AQS first objective is to obtain possession of the building and restore it back as the original historic mosque. In the year 2000 Liverpool City Council vacated the property and handed it to the AQS and Muslim community to look after and develop it. Once the AQS has funds to renovate the building, Liverpool Council will transfer ownership to the Society. Over the years AQS has given numerous talks on this important history and hosted many visitors and media. The Society has now completely renovated the roof, which was decaying and leaking. The Mosque and remainder of the building still need renovation.
The Society has kept this unique history alive through many talks, visits and media interviews. It has also encouraged people to research further into this history, over the last 10 years. Last year, a new book was published, “Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam” by Professor Ron Geaves. This book gives a unique insight into the building, the life of Sheikh Quilliam and the first established Muslim Community in Britain.
The Society has exciting plans to renovate the building and re-create the Institutions and life stories of the first native Britons to embrace Islam. Our plans to recreate this building and history are important to Muslims in Europe, America, Japan, and the Muslim world.
The historic mosque and building
Numbers 8, 9 and 10 Brougham Terrace, Liverpool are buildings of historical significance. Built in 1830, they are part of the original building made up of 12 terraces and named after the then Lord Chancellor Henry Peter, the first Baron Brougham and Vaux.
Numbers 8, 9, and 10 subsequently took on a very interesting history, which is important to modern Liverpool, Britain and Muslims around the world. These properties became the first site of Islamic worship and Mosque in the UK. It was, and is, the first and only mosque built by a native Englishman. The buildings are also important because they were the Office of the first and only appointed Sheikh ul Islam of the British Isles. Islamic rites such as deaths, marriages, Friday and Eid prayers were performed at the centre, and Fatwas were delivered by Quilliam for Muslims on important issues.
An article in ‘The Religious Review of Reviews’ dated at the end of the 19th Century described Brougham Terrace as follows:-
“The Institute occupies a large old-fashioned house situated in Brougham terrace, and facing West Derby road, one of the busiest thoroughfares in Liverpool. Outside the house is a large notice-board, headed with the well-known sentence, “There is only one God and Mahomet is His prophet and then follows the announcement of times when services are held.
The interior of the premises has been fitted up as a Mahomedan Institute, and the various apartments are arranged as a library and reading-room, a museum, a small lecture-hall, and a chess and draughts room; while one portion is set apart for the residences of the caretakers. At the rear of the building, in what was formerly the garden, is erected the ‘pro-Mosque’, a plain building, capable of accommodating from 150 to 200 worshippers”.
It was from the top balcony at the front of this Georgian terrace that Quilliam and the Muslims would stand and call the Azaan. This call to prayer would echo into the heart of 19th century Liverpool.
The Mosque style and design was a mixture of Arabic, Moorish and Ottoman. The remainder of the building has Georgian features, which have to be preserved as the building is listed.
The Abdullah Quilliam Heritage Centre proposed projects
Mosque and Building project
Heritage and Visitor Project
Research and Archive Project
Dawah and Community Engagement
New Muslims Project
Plans and drawings of mosque and Heritage Centre
Artists drawings of mosque and Heritage Centre
Costs of building refurbishment
The costs below are for capital only and refurbishment; we have not included revenue costs for establishing and delivery of projects. The revenue project costs for three years are estimated at £600,000 for the first three years. After three years it is hoped that the project will be self-sustainable.
Cost Summary for Mosque & Heritage Centre Numbers 8,9,10 Brougham Terrace
|Conversion & Refurbishment Costs for 8, 9 and 10 Brougham Terrace (including 10% contingency)||1,795,100|
|Associated costs, including for example professional fees, project development & publicity and furniture & fitting||251,300|
|VAT (assumes that the building works will be standard rated for VAT purposes, and that some works related to Disabled Access may be zero for VAT purposes.)||409,300|
Cost Summary for Islamic School Numbers 11,12, Brougham Terrace
|Purchase Costs including legal and professional fees and stamp duty||800,000|
|Conversion & Refurbishment Costs for 11-12 Brougham Terrace (including 10% contingency) including fees and VAT||1,200,000|