great places to visit off the beaten path.
Brixton Windmill is a tangible reminder to all Londoners of the close links that the capital had with agriculture and food production. It evokes the imagery of the ‘villages of London’. Built in 1816 by John Muggeridge and Sons – family builders involved in the development of Brixton in the first half of the 19th century – it was initially wind powered. Over the years the wind (whether due to development or not) became less effective and the mill was converted to steam power. In 1934, it ceased functioning as a mill but efforts to preserve it succeeded. Since 2002 when it was placed on Britain’s list of Buildings at Risk, efforts have resulted in the restoration of the mill. Brixton Windmill is now open on a limited number of days per year, so be certain to check their website if you want to take a tour of it. http://brixtonwindmill.org/visit
Generally there are Sat and Sun open days from 1-4pm several times a month. You can have ‘open access’ to parts of the windmill during these times and talk with guides, or you can book a guided tour which lets you see more of the windmill. You will see the original wind-powered machinery and find out about how it was once used to make stoneground flour and learn about the prior owners. You must book the guided tour in advance, as access to the upper floors of the windmill is very restricted. Because of space restrictions, each tour is limited to three adults plus guide or two adults and two children plus guide. There are guided tours on the hour and half hour, with last entry 30 minutes before published closing time. Each tour lasts approx. 30-45 minutes. All tours are free.
Located at: Windmill Gardens, West end of Blenheim Gardens, Off Brixton Hill, SW2 5EU
Closest tube: Brixton (then bus 1 mile south to Blenheim Gardens: #s: 45, 59, 109, 118, 133, 159, 250 and 333)