British Muslim Heritage Centre

Last updated

British Muslim Heritage Centre British Muslim Heritage Centre 1.jpg
British Muslim Heritage Centre

The British Muslim Heritage Centre, formerly the GMB National College, College Road, Whalley Range, Manchester, is an early Gothic Revival building. [1] The centre was designated a Grade II* listed building on 3 October 1974. [2]


History and description

The college was built as an Independent (i.e. Congregational) college in 1840–43, the architects being Irwin and Chester. [1] The site was in the new suburb whose development had been begun about 10 years earlier by Samuel Brooks; its name later became Whalley Range. The aim of the Lancashire Independent College was a project of the Lancashire Congregational Union to provide higher education for Non-Conformists who were excluded from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge until 1871. [2] This included a new college building and moving the staff from Blackburn Academy which was then closed. [3] The three founders were George Hadfield, Thomas Raffles and William Roby (minister of the Grosvenor Street Chapel, London Road, Manchester). [4] The Blackburn Academy arose from courses of lessons given to prospective Congregational ministers by William Roby who was supported by the Manchester merchant Robert Spear. When the principal, Joseph Fletcher, left for London the academy became the Lancashire Independent College and moved to Manchester. [5] The college became known much later as the Northern Congregational College.

Congregational church religious denomination

Congregational churches are Protestant churches in the Reformed tradition practicing congregationalist church governance, in which each congregation independently and autonomously runs its own affairs.

George Hadfield (politician) British politician

George Hadfield was an English lawyer, author and Radical politician who represented Sheffield for 22 years.

Thomas Raffles English congregationalist minister

Thomas Raffles (1788–1863) was an English Congregational minister, known as a dominant nonconformist figure at the Great George Street Congregational Church in Liverpool, and as an abolitionist and historian.

The similarity of design to an Oxbridge college is therefore easily understood. Nikolaus Pevsner commended the "long, very impressive, ashlar-faced, Gothic front." [1] The wings culminate in a "tall, fanciful" tower, with a "two-storey Gothic oriel (window)." [1] The entrance and assembly halls were re-ordered by Alfred Waterhouse in 1876–80 and Pevsner considered them "disappointing, but the rooms along the piano nobile are very charming, their Gothic fireplaces, ceilings and doorcases nicely varied." [1] The later name of the college was the Northern Congregational College, who used the premises until 1985 when they joined the Northern Baptist College in Luther king House, Brighton Grove. [6]

Oxbridge portmanteau of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge

Oxbridge is a portmanteau of Oxford and Cambridge, the two oldest universities in the United Kingdom. The term is used to refer to them collectively, in contrast to other British universities, and more broadly to describe characteristics reminiscent of them, often with implications of superior social or intellectual status or elitism.

Nikolaus Pevsner German-born British scholar

Sir Nikolaus Bernhard Leon Pevsner was a German-British art historian and architectural historian best known for his monumental 46-volume series of county-by-county guides, The Buildings of England (1951–74).

Gothic Revival architecture Architectural movement

Gothic Revival is an architectural movement popular in the Western world that began in the late 1740s in England. Its momentum grew in the early 19th century, when increasingly serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval Gothic architecture, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time. Gothic Revival draws features from the original Gothic style, including decorative patterns, finials, lancet windows, hood moulds and label stops.

The building became the national college of the GMB in the late 20th century and trained many trades-union negotiators. The GMB sold the college in 2004 as it was considered too expensive to maintain. After a period of uncertainty, the building was purchased by the British Muslim Heritage Centre to "serve as a focus for Muslim heritage and identity in Britain". [7]

GMB (trade union) general trades union in the United Kingdom

The GMB is a general trade union in the United Kingdom which has more than 631,000 members. GMB members work in nearly all industrial sectors, in retail, security, schools, distribution and the utilities, social care, the NHS and ambulance service and local government.

In January 2013 and 2014, the building was nominated for the Arts and Culture Awareness award at the British Muslim Awards. [8] [9]

British Muslim Awards

British Muslim Awards is an annual award ceremony that honours the success and achievements of Britain's Muslim individuals, groups and businesses. It was established in 2013.

Nasar Mahmood currently serves as a trustee of the centre. [10] He was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List in 2019. [11] [12]

Order of the British Empire British order of chivalry

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Hartwell, Hyde & Pevsner 2004, p. 483.
  2. 1 2 Good Stuff IT Services. "Gmb National College – Manchester – Greater Manchester – England". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
  3. Jones, R. Tudur. "Raleigh, Alexander". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/23041.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. "Hadfield, George (1787-1879)"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  5. Axon 1877, pp. 69–70.
  6. "Congregational College Archives". John Rylands University Library. Archived from the original on 3 July 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  7. Archived 30 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Winners honoured at British Muslim Awards". Asian Image. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  9. "British Muslim Awards 2014 winners". Asian Image. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  10. "Contact and trustees". Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  11. Ali, Ashraf. "Congratulations to our Chair, Mr Nasar Mahmood on being awarded an OBE". BMHC. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  12. Abbit, Beth (28 December 2018). "New Year's Honours list: The people from Greater Manchester recognised this year". men. Retrieved 28 January 2019.


Further reading

Coordinates: 53°26′56″N2°15′52″W / 53.4490°N 2.2644°W / 53.4490; -2.2644

Related Research Articles

Whalley Range, Manchester area of Manchester, England

Whalley Range is an area of Manchester, England, about 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the city centre. The population at the 2011 census was 15,430. Historically in Lancashire, it was one of the earliest of the city's suburbs, built by local businessman Samuel Brooks.

Memorial Hall, Manchester

Memorial Hall in Albert Square, Manchester, England, was constructed in 1863–1866 by Thomas Worthington. It was built to commemorate the bicentennial anniversary of the 1662 Act of Uniformity, when the secession of some 2,000 Anglican clergy led to the birth of Nonconformism It is a Grade II* listed building as of 14 February 1972.

Manchester Law Library

The former Manchester Law Library is a Grade II* listed building in the Venetian Gothic style at 14 Kennedy Street, Manchester. "The building is noteworthy by virtue of having been built for the purposes of a law library and, London and the old universities aside, it is believed to have performed this function for a period longer than any other provincial law library".

Dale Street Warehouse

Dale Street Warehouse is an early nineteenth century warehouse in the Piccadilly Basin area of Manchester city centre. It is a Grade II* listed building as of 10 November 1972. "It is of considerable interest as the earliest surviving canal warehouse in the city" according to Clare Hartwell. The building is dated 1806 with initials "WC" on the datestone indicating that it was designed by William Crosley, an engineer who worked with William Jessop on the inner-Manchester canal system. Constructed of watershot millstone grit blocks, the four-storey building has timber floors, supported throughout by cast-iron columns, a feature which now makes it unique amongst Manchester warehouses. The base of the building incorporates four boatholes which allowed boats to unload their cargoes inside of the warehouse. The warehouse also incorporates a "subterranean wheel-pit containing a 16-foot water-wheel used to drive hoists both in this building and in a former warehouse to the south via a line-shaft tunnel which mostly survives beneath the car-park." For many years the building was a shop and was described in 2000 as "sadly neglected"; the warehouse has now been converted to office space and a café and renamed Carver's Warehouse.

Ellen Wilkinson High School

Ellen Wilkinson High School was housed, until it closed in 2000, in a Grade II* listed building in Ardwick, Manchester, England, designed in 1879–80 by the prolific Manchester architect Thomas Worthington. Formerly known as Nicholls Hospital, the building was funded by Benjamin Nicholls as a memorial to his son, John Ashton Nicholls. Nicholls commissioned Worthington to prepare designs in 1867, with instructions that building was only to commence after his own death. It was Worthington's last significant commission in the city. The original usage was as an orphanage; the Ashton family gave over £100,000 to its construction and endowment.

City Police Courts, Manchester

The City Police Courts, now commonly called Minshull Street Crown Court, is a complex of court buildings on Minshull Street in Manchester, designed in 1867–73 by the architect Thomas Worthington. The court was designated a Grade II* listed building on 3 October 1974.

Peacock Mausoleum

The Peacock Mausoleum is a Victorian Gothic memorial to Richard Peacock (1820–1889), engineer and Liberal MP for Manchester, and to his son, Joseph Peacock. It is situated in the cemetery of Brookfield Unitarian Church, Gorton, Manchester. The mausoleum was designed by the prolific Manchester architect Thomas Worthington. It was made a Grade II* listed structure on 3 October 1974.

Tootal, Broadhurst and Lee Building, Manchester

The Tootal, Broadhurst and Lee Building at No. 56 Oxford Street, in Manchester, England, is a late Victorian warehouse and office block built in a neo-Baroque style for Tootal Broadhurst Lee, a firm of textile manufacturers. It was designed by J. Gibbons Sankey and constructed between 1896 and 1898. It has been designated a Grade II* listed building.

Manchester Reform Club Listed building in Manchester, England

The Reform Club in Spring Gardens, Manchester, England, is a former gentlemen's club of the Victorian era. Constructed in 1870–1871 in the Venetian Gothic style by Edward Salomons in collaboration with Irish architect John Philpot Jones, the club is "his best city centre building" and is a Grade II* listed building as of 3 October 1974. The contract for construction was awarded to "Mr Nield, builder, Manchester for £20,000". Built as a club house for Manchester's Liberal Party elite, the building was opened by Earl Granville, Gladstone's Foreign Secretary, on October 19, 1871. The building is constructed of sandstone ashlar with polychrome dressings and hipped slate roofs and is three-storey with elaborate corner turrets and oriel windows and balconies. The main entrance is "richly adorned with carving including winged beasts". The interior contains a "fine staircase, a (two-storey) grand dining room and an enormous billiard room, running the whole length of the building, in the roof". The "hall and staircase (have) linenfold panelling."

Church of St Peter, Blackley Church in Greater Manchester, England

The Church of St Peter in Old Market Street, Blackley, Manchester, England, is a Gothic Revival church of 1844 by E. H. Shellard. It was a Commissioners' church erected at a cost of £3162. The church is particularly notable for an almost completely intact interior. It was designated a Grade II* listed building on 20 June 1988.

Blackfriars Bridge, Manchester 19th-century bridge

Blackfriars Bridge is a stone arch bridge in Greater Manchester, England. Completed in 1820, it crosses the River Irwell, connecting Salford to Manchester.

Grade I listed churches in Greater Manchester Wikimedia list article

Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England. It was created by the Local Government Act 1972, and consists of the metropolitan boroughs of Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan and the cities of Manchester and Salford. This is a complete list of the Grade I listed churches in the metropolitan county as recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Buildings are listed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on the recommendation of English Heritage. Grade I listed buildings are defined as being of "exceptional interest, sometimes considered to be internationally important"; only 2.5 per cent of listed buildings are included in this grade.

Grade I listed churches in Lancashire Wikimedia list article

Lancashire is a county in North West England. In 1974 parts of the historic county were divided between Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria, and part of the West Riding of Yorkshire was transferred into the county, creating the non-metropolitan county of Lancashire. Together with the unitary authorities of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool it now forms the ceremonial county of Lancashire.

Edwin Hugh Shellard was an English architect who practised in Manchester, being active between 1844 and 1864. Most of his works are located in Northwest England, in what is now Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Derbyshire. He was mainly an ecclesiastical architect, and gained contracts to design at least 13 churches for the Church Building Commission, these churches being known as Commissioners' churches. Most of his designs were in Gothic Revival style, usually Early English or Decorated, but he also experimented in the Perpendicular style. He employed the Romanesque Revival style in his additions to St Mary's Church, Preston. The National Heritage List for England shows that at least 23 of his new churches are designated as listed buildings, four of them at Grade II*. The authors of the Buildings of England series consider that his finest work is St John's Minster in Preston, Lancashire.

Rylands Building grade II listed building in Manchester, United kingdom

The Rylands Building is a Grade II listed building in Market Street, Manchester, England. Situated close to the Piccadilly area of Manchester city centre, the building was originally built as a warehouse by the Rylands textile company which was founded by John Rylands. That firm had occupied warehouses in High Street ever since 1822. Its west-facing side is on High Street; The building was designed by the eminent Manchester architects, Fairhursts, in an Art Deco style. It is clad in Portland stone and features a decorative corner tower and eclectic 'zig zag' window lintels. The work was completed in 1932.

Maxwell and Tuke Architect

Maxwell and Tuke was an architectural practice in Northwest England, founded in 1857 by James Maxwell in Bury. In 1865 Maxwell was joined in the practice by Charles Tuke, who became a partner two years later. The practice moved its main office to Manchester in 1884. Frank, son of James Maxwell, joined the practice in the later 1880s and became a partner. The two senior partners both died in 1893, and Frank Maxwell continued the practice, maintaining its name as Maxwell and Tuke.

Manchester is a city in Northwest England. The M16 postcode area is to the south of the city centre, and contains the area of Whalley Range. The postcode area contains 12 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, one is listed at Grade II*, the middle grade of the three grades, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade.