Documenting the History and Heritage of the Muslim Community in Croydon

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About Us
The Muslim Heritage in Croydon project has been developed by Asian Youth Alliance (AYA), an organisation specialising in community engagement and working with the Asian communities.

The need for such a project was identified from the lack of Muslim related material in the local Croydon Archives. AYA approached the Museum of Croydon and the Local Studies Library and Archive Services to see if anything could be done about it. The answer was simple, as much of the material in the archives are deposited by the public, it was up to the public or in this case AYA to start depositing.

With experience of working on heritage projects, namely their web based Islam in British Stone project, which documents and promotes the oldest Muslim heritage sites and Islamic influenced buildings in the UK, and a school based British Muslim Heritage project, where High School students are taught about Muslim heritage in Britain. AYA set about developing a project that would help document the largest and oldest mosque in Croydon, the Croydon Mosque & Islamic Centre and collecting material that could be archived for future generations.
The project would consist of collecting old photographs and documents, recording oral histories, and photographing and filming what the mosque looked like now.

Being a youth focussed organisation AYA wanted to make sure that what they collected would be presented in an interesting and relevant way for children and young people to engage with. Working with young people to help with the collecting and recording, AYA chose to use upcoming technologies like Augment Reality and 3D Gaming to keep young people interested whilst they learnt something of the past.

A physical exhibition ‘The Tale of Croydon Mosque’ will be held at the Museum of Croydon from August 2011 to January 2012. This will consist of 24 panels exploring the development of the Croydon Mosque at 525 London Road, 3 touchscreen kiosks with 100+ photographs, 100+ pages of documents, and numerous snippets of oral histories from the Muslim community.

The wow (engagement) factor will be provided by a chance to experience Augmented Reality where you can hold a virtual 3D representation of Croydon Mosque in the palm of your hand (you need to see it to believe it), and a 3D game where you can explore parts of Croydon Mosque and collect info points that explain different features and items found in and around a mosque.

We endeavour to replicate all the features of the physical exhibition onto this website, so people that are unable to visit the Museum of Croydon can still access and learn about the history of the development of Croydon Mosque and the Muslim community in Croydon and see the great things we have collected.

We hope you enjoy the site, and can see the importance of looking after your history and heritage. We hope you have been persuaded to deposit items, photographs and/or old memorabilia into your local archive for safe keeping.
We would very much appreciate your feedback, please email us on and let us have your thoughts.

We hope we have challenged the heritage sector to see things through young peoples’ eyes and interests and hope they can develop exhibitions that are more attractive to children and young people.   The project was kindly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the largest funder of heritage projects in the UK. We thank them for their support and for giving us a chance to develop a heritage project our way. HLF we’ll be back at your door soon, we have plenty more project ideas ready to burst out!!!