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Brixton Windmill

Home > London > Escape the City | Free | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Caroline Haack (subscribe)
Fine art student and freelance writer from Paris, living in London.
Published July 9th 2017
The hidden historic mill
Image from by Ann Lee

In the Brixton area, under the Thames, is a little curiosity: a mill in the middle of the city. Ashby's Mill, better known as the Brixton Mill, was built in the early 19th century and operated windward until 1862. At the time, Brixton was a pretty little rural area. In fact, there were a dozen mills like this, unfortunately, today all disappeared in favour of the dwellings. The Brixton mill was built to produce flour which was then distributed to the local bakers.

At the end of the 19th century, its wings were removed and the mill became a store that later found its original function, flour. After the war, real estate developers found the right land and decided to make the proposal to demolish the mill in order to build blocks of buildings. Fortunately, this proposal was rejected and it was in 1964 that the London County Council decided to restore the mill. Since the mill has gone through different restoration phases and by different organisations, the latest being Friends of Windmill Gardens.

Inside the mill, you can see the machinery and listen to the anecdotes of the guides who will make you spend a nice visit. Take the opportunity to take a look at the 31-meter fresco located right next to the mill and currently taken care of by the artists of the district. The project, which has just been completed, is to make the environment more pleasant and warm through paintings and anecdotes about the history of the mill.

Book in advance to have the chance to climb all the way up. The mill, being rather small is rather restricted and each guided tour must not exceed 3 visitors, which makes the visit all the more unusual! Each round lasts about 30 to 45 minutes. Do not hesitate to go there and have a sample of what Brixton was like when the surroundings of London were only fields and villages!
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Where: Blenheim Gardens, London SW2 5EU
Cost: Free
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