Terrace of houses, probably 1850s, number 30 used as a mosque since 1958 with later expansion into numbers 28 and 32.
Reasons for Designation
14-32 Howard Street is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a good example of a mid-C19 terrace constructed in phases that reflects Bradford's expansion on the back of the textile industry, which led to Bradford becoming one of Europe's wealthiest cities in the latter half of the C19 and transformed the city's built landscape.
* Bradford's first mosque was established in number 30 in 1958 to serve Muslim migrants attracted by the city's textile connections, and later expanded into numbers 28 and 32.
* the terrace has group value with the Grade II-listed terrace of 1-31 Howard Street, which stands opposite on the south side of the street.
Numbers 14-32 Howard Street are believed to have been constructed in the mid-late C19, possibly in the 1850s. The terrace does not appear to have been constructed in a single build and was most probably phased as there are variations in design between the houses. Whilst originally completely residential, numbers 14-32 Howard Street are also of special interest for their association with Islamic worship in Bradford.
Whilst records trace the presence of Muslims in Britain back centuries, the earliest Muslim prayer halls were to be found amongst the sea-faring communities of port cities from the late C19, as Muslim sailors (lascars) created the first settled communities. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 saw numbers increase from the Yemen area and by the early C20 there were around 10,000 Muslims in Britain.
Britain’s first mosque was established in a converted and extended house in Liverpool in 1889 (listed at Grade II*), followed by the construction of the first purpose-built mosque, the Shah Jehan Mosque in Woking (listed at Grade I). The history of mosque building continued to be closely related to the history of post-colonisation, trade and Empire. From 1889 up to the Second World War there were only a handful of mosques in the country. It was only after the independence and Partition of India that Muslim migration from certain parts of India and newly formed Pakistan rapidly increased, and subsequently so did mosque establishment. It was from the 1960s that the new migrant communities started opening mosques in the neighbourhoods of the towns and cities where they settled.
In 1958 the Pakistani Muslim Association established Bradford's first mosque in number 30 Howard Street with the original aim of the mosque being used for practical purposes as well as religious functions, such as translating official documentation and addressing letters home for those migrants with poor English language skills. Originally serving both Deobandi and Barelwi communities, it later became a Deobandi mosque. The ground-floor rooms and basement were used as prayer rooms and the first-floor rooms and attic were used as classrooms and overspill prayer space. Shortly after moving in the mosque acquired the neighbouring property, number 28 and dividing walls were removed to amalgamate the two buildings. Finally, in 1979 number 32 was also purchased and the entire first floor of all three houses was opened up to form a large prayer hall and classroom area, whilst the lower floors of number 32 were largely retained with their original layout to be used as offices. A fire-exit stairwell and an ablution block were constructed at the rear in the early C21.
Terrace of houses, probably 1850s, number 30 used as a mosque since 1958 with later expansion into numbers 28 and 32. Two storeys plus basement and attic
MATERIALS: mainly of sandstone 'bricks' with ashlar dressings, slate roofs.
EXTERIOR: to the front (south) elevation the houses are each of two bays with classical ashlar doorcases incorporating pilasters to most of the houses and ashlar bay windows to the ground floor. The ground floor is raised with the front entrances each accessed via a short flight of stone steps flanked by a mixture of railings and low sandstone walls. Some four-panel doors survive, but others have been replaced by modern doors. Two-over-two sash windows exist to the first floor, except for those to numbers 22 and 26, which have uPVC replacement windows. All the first-floor windows (except to number 14) have plain reveals. Most of the terrace has a dentilled eaves cornice although number 22 has a bracketed eaves with paired brackets. Numbers 24-32, comprising the western half of the terrace, appear to have been built together and are identically styled, sharing a plain ashlar sill band to the first floor and incorporating a through carriageway between numbers 30 and 32 that accesses a lane to the rear of the terrace and separates it from buildings fronting on to Edmund Street. Above the carriageway entrance is a modern signage board with the name and contact details of the Jamia Masjid (mosque). Number 32's west gable end is rendered, although the render is missing in places, and has a small inserted window at ground-floor level. Number 22 has a doorcase with carved consoles supporting a shallow hood and a first-floor ashlar sill band. Numbers 16-20 also appear to have been built together and have identically styled sills to their first-floor windows. Number 14, at the eastern end of the terrace, is treated differently to the rest of the terrace and has a front elevation of coursed ashlar blocks and a more elaborate doorcase incorporating half-columns with composite capitals and an arched head with carved decoration to the spandrels and a plain keystone. The ground-floor bay window has a dentilled cornice and the first-floor windows have eared and shouldered surrounds with a carved sill band below. A deep dentil eaves cornice exists to the top of the front elevation and the east gable-end is rendered. Some corniced chimneystacks survive to the eastern half of the terrace and multiple modern skylights exist to the roofs.
On the east side of the carriageway between numbers 30 and 32 is a large inserted doorway with a triangular lintel and modern double doors that accesses the mosque. A number of early C21 extensions of varying height have been constructed to the rear (north side) of numbers 28-32 in the former location of yard areas. Some of the houses in the terrace retain their rear yards with boundary walls.
INTERIOR: the interiors were not inspected but the first floor of numbers 28-32 is known to have been opened up into a single prayer hall space, and also the ground floor of numbers 28 and 30. Mehrab niches are also believed to have been inserted into the Qibla-facing (Mecca-facing) walls on the basement, ground-floor and first-floor levels.