RocketTheme Joomla Templates
Islamic Influenced Design in Britain

Many establishments for entertainment, leisure and fantasy were built in or with Islamic influenced design - theatres, cinemas, pavilions, bandstands, kiosks, Turkish baths, pleasure domes and piers. Buildings with Moorish, Arabian, Persian, Arabesque, Mughal, Saracenic interiors and exteriors became common place. These design became very prominent for iron and glass structures - some still survive today


The Royal Pavilion and the Royal Stables (now Brighton Dome Concert Hall), Brighton - The future George IV commissioned architect John Nash (1752-1835) to remodel an unfinished structure at the Royal Pavilion. Externally the building resembles a late Mughal palace with bulbous domes, chajjas and chatris, however internally it is decorated like a Chinese palace. The Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Kew Gardens -In 1750, Frederick, the Prince of Wales, commissioned the English architect William Chambers (1723-1796) to design an "Alhambra" for the gardens at Kew. The resulting design had little in common with the original Alhambra in Spain except for the paired slender columns used for support. Chambers followed this design with an octagonal pavilion in the form of a mosque. Kew Gardens

Sezincote House & Garden, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire GL56 9AW – Built in 1810 it is said to be the inspiration for the Brighton Pavilion. The architecture is in the Mogul style of Rajasthan, with a central dome, minarets, peacock-tail windows, jail-work railings and pavilions. A curving Orangery frames the Persian Garden of Paradise with its fountains and canals. Sezincote House & Gardens

Elveden Hall, Elveden Estate, Suffolk - Originally, a Georgian country house, it was transformed by Prince Duleep Singh - the last Maharajah of Punjab. The Maharajah, who was exiled from India, bought the 17,000-acre (69 km2) Elveden Estate in 1863 and commissioned John Norton to rebuild it  in an Italianate style and in the 1870s redesign the interior to resemble a Mughal palace that he was accustomed to. The Maharajah left England in 1886 and died in 1893 in Paris. Elveden Estate was sold to the Guinness brewing family in 1894. Its contents were sold off in 1984 and the hall now stands empty, aside from its occasional use as an film location – parts of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Eyes Wide Shut, The Living Daylights were shot here. Elveden Hall

Surrey Zoological Gardens, Kennington Road – No longer exists. Surrey Zoological Gardens

Leighton House Museum, The Arab Hall - 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ. Leighton House Museum - The Arab Hall

Kensington Palace Gardens - British architect Owen Jones designed two palatial houses in Kensington Palace Gardens in the Moorish Style. Kensington Palace Gardens

Crystal Palace – Owen Jones in 1854 created an Alhambra Court, following the Court of the Lions, for the reconstructed Crystal Palace in Sydenham. The Crystal Palace was destroyed in a fire in 1936 but some remains can be still seen. Crystal Palace

Harrogate Turkish Baths and Health Spa -the Baths are of Moorish design with great Islamic arches and screens, its walls are vibrant glazed brickwork, its ceiling arabesque painted and its floors terrazzo (imported from Italy). Harrogate Turkish Baths

Imre Kiralfy opened the Franco-British Exhibition on a 140 acre site near Shepherd’s. Built in palatial Oriental style, it attracted over 8.4 million visits, including King Edward VII and President Fallières of France. There were some 120 exhibition buildings and 20 pavilions, most designed in an Oriental style, with domes and arabesque arches, it came to be known as 'White City' due to the its colour. Later that year the London 1908 Olympic were held there. Two stations of the Underground were built to serve the exhibition and the games - the old Wood Lane and Shepherd’s Bush stations. The Franco-British Exhibition at 'White City'

Khadambi Asalache’s House, Wandsworth Road – Buying the house in 1981 Khadambi Asalache a Kenyan poet, author, architect and in his later days a Treasury civil servant spent over 20 years decorating it by hand in Moorish, African and English styles. He died 26 May 2006 leaving his house to the National Trust. Khadambi Asalache's House

More Islamic Influenced Buildings and Structures: 

If you know of any others that should be on this list, then please get in touch.

Like it? Share it!