The Tale of Croydon Mosque explores the history of the largest mosque in Croydon, the Croydon Mosque & Islamic Centre at 525 London Road. The mosque has grown from informal gatherings in the basement of 32 Derby Road, West Croydon in the mid-1960s, into the 2,000+ capacity building we see today.
After 32 Derby Road received a compulsory purchase order to make way for the Handcroft Road Housing Redevelopment, the Croydon Mosque Association was formed in 1970, and rented vacant offices at 45 Wellesley Road to meet and pray.
The Muslim community were again asked to move, as now 45 Wellesley Road was to be redeveloped. The Muslim community now felt the need to establish a more permanent home. In 1987 they raised enough funds to purchase a large house at 525 London Road and begun transforming the site into the mosque we see today.
This unique exhibition is a chance to see rare photographs of the mosque’s development, explore the inside of the mosque using interactive multimedia and listen to oral histories of the founders and pioneers of the Muslim community in Croydon. The exhibition uses new technologies like augmented reality and computer gaming to help visitors to explore and learn.
The history of Croydon’s Muslim community is in its memories. AYA hope this exhibition will encourage others to come forward and have their stories recorded or their old photographs scanned so as to help build an archive for future generations.
So, can you help? Do you have a story, some photographs or memorabilia of Muslim life in Croydon? If so, please visit www.muslimheritageincroydon.org.uk and get in touch.
The Tale of Croydon Mosque is part of the Muslim Heritage in Croydon project, developed by Asian Youth Alliance (AYA), an organisation specialising in youth, community and digital engagement.
The project is supported by the Museum of Croydon, Croydon’s Local Studies Library and Archive Service and funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund.