8 Brougham Terrace, (Formerly listed as Brougham Terrace)


Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:
Statutory Address:
8 Brougham Terrace, Liverpool, L6 1AE


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Statutory Address:
8 Brougham Terrace, Liverpool, L6 1AE

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Liverpool (Metropolitan Authority)
Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference:


House forming part of a terrace, approximately 1830, became the Liverpool Muslim Institute in 1889, converted for office use in the early C20.

Reasons for Designation

8 Brougham Terrace, an early C19 terraced house adapted and extended in 1889 to form the Liverpool Muslim Institute, is listed at Grade II* for the following principal reasons:

Historic interest:

* it is the first fully-functioning mosque in England with established community worship and represents a highly important piece of Islamic heritage in Britain;

* it was the home of the Liverpool Muslim Institute, which was established in 1887 by Abdullah Quilliam as the first community of Muslim converts in C19 Britain. Quilliam was arguably the most influential Muslim convert of the C19 and C20, and is one of the most important figures in the history of Islam in Britain;

* the first Islamic publication house in the United Kingdom was established by Quilliam in the basement of number 8;

* it is an example of Liverpool's capacity to embrace different cultural and faith communities, as well as evidence of the social and cultural diversity that developed as a consequence of the city's role as an internationally significant port and trading centre.

Architectural interest:

* it is a good example of an early C19 terraced house that retains much of its original architectural character and which reflects the wealth and importance of Liverpool as an international port city in the C18 and C19;

* the interior retains numerous original features and the original internal arrangements remain fully legible;

* the mosque at the rear of the building retains its original roof structure and has been restored in sympathy with the original design; its historic interest remaining tangible in the physical fabric.

Group value:

* it has strong group value with the neighbouring 9 & 10 Brougham Terrace, which formed a later part of the Liverpool Muslim Institute at Brougham Terrace and are separately listed at Grade II.


Number 8 Brougham Terrace (along with 9 & 10 Brougham Terrace, which are separately listed at Grade II) originally formed part of a terrace of twelve houses believed to have been constructed in around 1830 and named after the Whig politician and lawyer Henry Brougham, who was created Baron of Brougham and Vaux in 1830. By the late C19 the four houses to the centre of the terrace had become the West Derby Union Offices, and by 1908 this had expanded to take in the remaining properties at the south-western end of the terrace and a new building was constructed in their place that survives today.

In 1889 William Henry Quilliam, a Liverpool solicitor and Muslim convert, bought number 8 for the Liverpool Muslim Institute (the Institute had been established by Quilliam at the Temperance Hall on Mount Vernon Street, Liverpool in 1887), constructing an extension at the rear that was the first fully-functioning mosque in England. He later bought the rest of the houses at the north-eastern end of the terrace and opened a boarding school for boys and a day school for girls, and an orphanage known as Medina House at number 12 Brougham Terrace. Quilliam also established the first Islamic publication house in the United Kingdom in the basement of number 8, publishing 'The Crescent' and a monthly journal known as 'The Islamic World' that was circulated worldwide, and also collections of his lectures, including 'The Faith of Islam' in 1889. The mosque was used to hold Islamic funerals and several Muslim burials at the necropolis on the opposite side of West Derby Road. At its peak, the Liverpool Muslim Institute had a membership of approximately 200 people.

William Henry Quilliam (1856-1932) was born in Liverpool into a wealthy Methodist family and brought up mainly on the Isle of Man. He became a solicitor in 1878 and specialised in criminal law. Illness led Quilliam to travel to France and Morocco in the early and mid-1880s for recuperation. It was in Morocco that Quilliam is said to have become interested in Islam, and he publicly announced his conversion from Christianity when he returned to Liverpool in 1887, changing his first name to Abdullah. Upon returning to Liverpool Quilliam established the Liverpool Muslim Institute at the Temperance Hall on Mount Vernon Street before acquiring number 8 Brougham Terrace two years later and constructing a purpose-built mosque extension. In 1893 Quilliam was given the title 'Alim' by the Sultan of Morocco and in July 1894 the Caliph of Islam and Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Abdul Hamid II bestowed Quilliam with the title of Sheikh-al-Islam for the British Isles. Quilliam left Liverpool in 1908 rather abruptly and it has been suggested that he was struck off as a solicitor for falsifying evidence in a divorce case. By the time he left it is estimated that up to 600 people had converted to Islam as a result of his work and preaching, including Professors Nasrullah Warren and Haschem Wilde, Resched P Stanley, former Mayor of Stalybridge, and Rev H H Johnson, a former Anglican clergyman.

After Quilliam left Liverpool in 1908 the houses of Brougham Terrace were sold to Liverpool Corporation by Quilliam's son and numbers 8-10 became a registry office. The two houses at the north-eastern end of the terrace (numbers 11 & 12) were demolished at some point between 1908 and 1927 and replaced by a cinema (now a music store), leaving numbers 8, 9 & 10 as the sole survivors of the original terrace. When number 8 became part of the registry office the mosque was converted for use as a strong room and its original features (apart from the roof structure) removed. The registry office at 8-10 Brougham Terrace remained in use until 1999/2000, after which time the buildings remained disused and subject to vandalism.

The Abdullah Quilliam Society was formed in 1999 and acquired numbers 8-10 in 2005/2006 with the intention of re-opening the buildings as an active mosque and a community and heritage centre. The mosque at the rear of number 8, which reopened in 2014, has been restored and is an active place of worship. A number of rooms on the ground floor of number 8 have also been restored and a temporary classroom block has been erected in the rear yard to enable educational visits, classes and community group use. The second floor and attic levels of all three buildings have been converted for student accommodation. The remaining areas of the buildings are undergoing restoration, with completion scheduled for 2018-2019.


House forming part of a terrace, approximately 1830, became the Liverpool Muslim Institute in 1889, converted for office use in the early C20.

MATERIALS: mellow red brick with channelled and lined out stucco finish to the front elevation, yellow and pink-sandstone dressings, an eaves cornice, shallow parapet and a slate roof covering with wide brick stacks.

PLAN: the building formerly comprised part of a terrace of twelve houses, but is now attached to a late C19 public office building at the south-west end and numbers 9 & 10 Brougham Terrace (separately listed at Grade II) at the north-east end. Internally number 8 has an entrance hall along the western side of the ground floor and two large rooms on each floor (one each to the front and rear) separated by a staircase set at a right angle to the main entrance. The second floor has mainly been subdivided for conversion into student accommodation. At the time of writing (2018), the building (along with numbers 9 & 10) is in the process of a programme of restoration and conversion to a heritage centre.


Front (north-west) elevation: to the front elevation the building is identically styled to its neighbours at number 9 & 10 and has a stucco finish that incorporates banded rustication to the ground floor. The house is two-bays wide and has a raised ground floor with an entrance doorway to the right accessed by a short flight of stone steps with ramped cast-iron railings that also enclose open wells in front of the basement windows. The doorway has a doorcase incorporating a shallow hood supported by carved consoles and a four-panel door with a rectangular overlight above, and to the left is an eight-over-eight sash window. Tall six-over-nine windows exist to the first floor with a plain sill band below, and three-over-six windows exist to the second floor. It has been suggested that the call to prayer was carried out from a first-floor balcony that has since been removed, but no photographic or written evidence of a balcony has been found. The roof is hidden from view by an eaves cornice and parapet. Early C21 conservation skylights exist to both the front and rear roof pitches, but cannot be seen from ground level. Chimneystacks also exist to both front and rear roof pitches in line with the north-east party wall.

Rear (south-east) elevation: at the rear the building is of mellow red brick with sandstone wedge lintels and sills to the windows. Six-over-six and eight-over-eight windows exist to the first floor and three-over-six windows to the second floor. A single-bay outrigger projects out from the rear elevation and rises from the basement to first-floor level, although it is now largely hidden within a mosque extension, which is a long single-storey extension constructed in 1889 as a purpose-built mosque. It is also of brick with pressed-brick dressings and a pitched roof with an eaves cornice and a rendered south-east gable end. Three window openings exist to the north-east side with sills and segmental-arched heads composed of pressed-brick headers; the window openings were blocked up when Liverpool Corporation took over the building and have been re-opened in the early C21 and new frames with paired pointed-arched lights and glazing inserted. Attached to the south-east gable end is a further lower flat-roofed range, which is believed to have been constructed as part of a larger late C19/early C20 extension at the rear of the neighbouring former West Derby Union Offices and does not form part of number 8.

INTERIOR: internally the building has an entrance hall alongside the south-west wall of the ground floor with the rooms and stair off to the north-east side. Doorways and arches have been inserted into the party walls on each floor level to interconnect the building with numbers 9 & 10. Painted cast-iron fireplaces survive to a number of the ground and first-floor rooms, and plaster arches and plain and decorative cornicing are present throughout (some of the cornicing is original and some is replaced in the same or similar style to the original), along with deep moulded skirtings. Some moulded door and window architraves and panelled reveals survive, along with a small number of window shutters and a couple of original six-panel doors, although the majority of the doors have been replaced by modern six-panel oak fire doors. Some floorboard floors survive, but others have been replaced by tiled and laminate floor coverings. A timber dog-leg stair that rises between the basement and second floor is located to the centre of the house and is set at a right angle to the front door and entrance hallway. The stair has turned newel posts, stick balusters, handrails, and cut strings and is temporarily boarded over due to the restoration works. The rear ground-floor room has been subdivided to create two toilets and a ladies prayer hall.

The 1889 mosque extension at the rear is accessed through the main entrance hall, which has an early C21 tiled floor. At the south-east end of the hallway is an early C21 Moorish-style arch, that is similarly styled to an original arch depicted in a probable late C19 photograph, that was removed when the mosque was converted into a strong room serving the registry office. The mosque's original features were also removed at the time of the conversion and a combination of replica and new features have been installed. The archway leads straight into the mosque, which has a split-level floor with a modern raised section at the north-western end replicating the original raised platform upon which Abdullah Quilliam was originally seated alongside an organ. To the right (north-east) of the entrance arch is another wider arch that again is a modern re-creation based upon one depicted in the late C19 photograph. The modern arches have shallower heads than the originals and also lack glazing in the upper parts that originally incorporated depictions of the star and crescent, the emblem of the Ottoman Empire in the C19 and now a symbol of Islam. The right arch leads into a top-lit ante room that contains an altered window in the original rear wall of the house, which was probably altered and enlarged when the mosque was built. Plaster decoration around the arches, which is also depicted in the late C19 photograph, but had been lost, has also been reinstated. Originally there was a mehrab or niche located in the east corner of the mosque that indicated the direction of Mecca. However, there are no descriptions or photographs of its appearance. The corner is now occupied by an early C21 mehrab. The original roof structure with its exposed A-frame trusses and side purlins survives.

On the first-floor landing is a blocked-up doorway that was inserted to provide access into the neighbouring late C19/early C20 building (former West Derby Union Offices). The stairwell is top-lit and rises higher to include the attic level, which is accessed via a separate timber winder stair on the second floor and has two rooms with internal windows onto the main stairwell. The second floor has been converted into student bedrooms and shower rooms, with further similar rooms and a kitchen and lounge in numbers 9 & 10. Many of the buildings' roof timbers are understood to have been replaced due to water damage caused by lead theft from the roof when the buildings were vacant.

The basement is interconnected with those of numbers 9 & 10 and is similarly laid out to the upper floors with a room to the front and rear; the front room is in the process of being converted into an ablution area. The rear room originally contained a printing press that formed the first Islamic publishing house in the UK, but no machinery survives.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Geaves, R, Islam in Victorian Britain: The Life and Times of Abdullah Quilliam, (2010)
Gilham, J, Loyal Enemies: British Converts to Islam 1850-1950, (2014)
'Quilliam, William Henry (known as Sheikh Abdullah Quilliam; Haroon Mustapha Leon) (1856-1932)' in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, accessed 1 March 2018 from https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/73031
'The birthplace of Islam in Britain': Kensington's Victorian mosque reopens, BBC News 27 June 2014, accessed 8 November 2017 from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-28018673
The Liverpool Moslems Mobbed, accessed 7 February 2018 from https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000098/18911117/016/0006
Various archival information held by the Abdullah Quilliam Society. Available at 8 Brougham Terrace, Liverpool and at http://www.abdullahquilliam.org/


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

Images of England

Images of England was a photographic record of every listed building in England, created as a snap shot of listed buildings at the turn of the millennium. These photographs of the exterior of listed buildings were taken by volunteers between 1999 and 2008. The project was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Date: 10 Sep 2006
Reference: IOE01/15581/18
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr Ronald May. Source Historic England Archive
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