Brixton Windmill

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

"A windmill in London?" I hear you cry.  You'd never think it would you?

But yes, tucked away in a quiet and pleasant suburban park is Brixton Windmill, a hidden gem in the city.
 
Truely, you'd never think you were mere yards from the bustling business of the high street and its traffic.


This flour mill was built in 1816 before the mid-century urbanisation along Brixton Hill - now one of the most densely populated parts of England's capital.


Originally the windmill sat in open fields with others - up to 12 sites nearby have been detected - it seems that milling here may date back to the Middle Ages.


In 1862 the owners moved their milling business south to Mitcham.  The windmill was subsequently used for storage until 1902, then fitted with a steam engine after which milling resumed in 1934.

 Inside the windmill - looking up to the cap.


The internal mechanisms...


In early 2008 Lambeth was awarded a Project Planning Grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the restoration of the building, which began in 2010.

 Wheat growing close to the windmill - it will be harvested this autumn.

The day we visited there was a millwright on site (new word: note to self) so there was keen anticipation that the sails may turn...they are only allowed to do so when he is there.
Which they did. Eventually. Slowly. And not for long.
Everyone got very excited, including the Friends of the Windmill, as apparently the sails so rarely turn!




The windmill is open for 22 days this year, including London Open House Weekend.  The Friends of Windmill Gardens operate free (limited participant) tours.  If you're ever in the area, it's definitely worth a look around, even if the windmill isn't open. 
If it is open, they also sell delicious cakes, tea and coffee ;-)
 
Click here for more information on Brixton Windmill.

2 comments:

  1. Do you mind if I re-post this on my blog?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Please do - if you'd kindly give me a mention too!

    ReplyDelete