Brixton Windmill is open to the public for guided tours from March to October and tickets are now available for the first open weekend of the year 25/26 March. Tickets for the open days can be booked on the website of the Friends of Windmill Gardens. Tickets will be released one month prior to each Open Day weekend.
Because of the limited space inside the windmill, the number of people that can go on a full tour is limited to three adults or two adults and two children. This means that tours can be booked up very quickly. If there are cancellations, the Friends advertise these on Twitter at @brixtonwindmill. Short tours to the first floor are also available on the open days.
Architect’s sketch of new education centre in Windmill Gardens
Lambeth’s Planning Department has approved plans for a new education centre at Windmill Gardens. The building will be used to run workshops for schools and other groups as well as supporting the regular programme of Windmill open days and other events.
Having a dedicated building will also allow the Friends of Windmill Gardens to expand their milling activities and develop a social enterprise selling flour to local bakeries, restaurants and retailers, as well as running baking workshops, to fund the education programme. The Friends will also be able to sell and store merchandise, which helps to raise much needed funds for the windmill. When it is not being used for Friends’ activities, the building will be available to hire, at affordable rates, by community groups and others.
Lambeth Council has provided £360,000 to fund the construction of the building and further fundraising is planned by the Friends to fund activities.
Cllr Adrian Garden first posted this on the Lambeth Labour site.
Lambeth Council has awarded £360,000 to Brixton Windmill for the construction of a new education centre.
This year the mill celebrates Brixton Windmill’s 200th birthday* so both the Friends of Windmill Gardens (FoWG) and the Council want to make it a memorable year.
And we’ve managed to do in a big way!
In addition to the many events the FoWG are arranging, the £360,000 the Council is providing will enable the construction of an education centre in Windmill Gardens for the use of the FoWG. Continue reading
Events continue to celebrate Brixton Windmill’s 200th anniversary in 2016.
This weekend sees the Harvest Festival, coinciding with Brixton Design Trail and Open House Weekend. A highlight will be local pattern and print designers Eley Kishimoto who will dress the windmill sails with their striking Flash design. There’s a chance to see flour being ground at the windmill, local bakery the Old Post Office will run baking demonstrations alongside Brockwell Bake, selling products made from Brixton Windmill flour, and refreshments will be available as well as a chance to buy Brixton Windmill flour. Continue reading
Brixton Design Trail 2016 starts today with a series of events and activities until 25th September. Under the theme ‘Rebel Rebel’, it aims to engage the local community and wider design world with a series of installations, exhibitions and events throughout the town centre by resident artists, designers and creative organisations. Rebel Rebel of course plays tribute to Brixton’s own David Bowie.
Several activities are taking place in Brixton Hill.
- F Mondays at 112A Brixton Hill is hosting an exhibition by screenprinter Chiara Leto all week.
- Brixton Windmill has a Harvest Festival 1-5 on Sunday 18th September, coinciding with its 200th anniversary year and Open House Weekend. As well as rural crafts and baking demonstrations, local pattern and print designers Eley Kishimoto will dress the windmill sails with their striking Flash design, made to celebrate the 200th anniversary.
- The new South Bank UTC, which opened this month in temporary buildings off Horsford Road, has a talk and exhibition at 4pm on 22nd September about training young engineers.
Details of these and all the events across Brixton can be found on brixtondesigntrail.com
By Cllr Adrian Garden, Councillor for Brixton Hill
John Ashby’s Windmill (aka Brixton Windmill) is now the nearest mill to the centre of London. It was built in 1816 in farmland on top of a hill. In the mid 1850s the surrounding cornfields were replaced by houses, so the strength of the wind reduced catastrophically, and the family decamped to their watermill on the Wandle at Mitcham. When that lease ran out in 1902, the family came back and installed a mill powered by a steam engine on the first floor, which is still there, though now powered by electricity. The business finally ceased in 1934.
Lambeth Council staff will be fundraising for Brixton Windmill next week with a Halloween-village fete-Diwali-Bonfire Night mash-up at Olive Morris House. Staff will be making and selling food, with an emphasis on cake, to raise funds as well as organising village fete type games and collecting donations. The lunchtime event will be on Thursday 5 November.
The following week, the Friends of Windmill Gardens are holding their autumn General Meeting on 11 November 2015 at Market House, 443 Coldharbour Lane. They will be reviewing all that has been achieved over the past five years and outlining plans to celebrate Brixton Windmill’s 200th anniversary in 2016 and go forward to the next five years.
The meeting will be followed by a thank-you party for everyone who has helped with this fantastic project, including all the guides, stewards, tour organisers, bakers, millers, gardeners, events organisers, communications team and fundraisers and everyone who has worked so hard to make the windmill and the education project such a great success. The party is invite-only – please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Donations to the Friends can also be made via PayPal at www.brixtonwindmill.org/friends-support-us
Community campaigners who have years of experience growing food and raising animals in their gardens are now exploring the possibility of setting up a City Farm in Windmill Gardens by Brixton Windmill.
The residents suggest that Windmill Gardens could become a space to farm livestock for eggs, milk, meat, honey and wool; grow all kinds of vegetables, fruit, herbs and salads; come together to learn about local history; spend time outside leaning skills to lead healthier happier lives; and improve Brixton’s environment and explore sustainability.
The campaigners have set up a survey and are asking for comments by 22 March. Fill in your comments here.
The Friends of Windmill Gardens write as follows:
In 2016 Brixton Windmill celebrates its bicentenary. This is just one year after the current Heritage Lottery funding for the windmill and the highly successful schools programme comes to an end. Before that, the Friends of Windmill Gardens need to develop a robust sustainability plan to ensure the future of Brixton Windmill.
We are looking for Friends, volunteers and new supporters of Brixton Windmill to join a group to develop a clear plan for the future. The Friends have some ideas already, but we welcome more. We particularly need help from anyone with creative ideas and with expertise in the area of fundraising and budget planning.
The first meeting of the Windmill Sustainability Group will be held on Thursday 11 September at 6.30pm, before the bat walk (see above). If you would like to help, please email email@example.com and put “Sustainability” in the subject line.
Brixton Windmill will be launching their Mill Memories book and exhibition on Bank Holiday Monday 5 May.
Mill Memories is an oral history project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of its All Our Stories scheme. Volunteers interviewed 26 local residents about their recollections of Brixton Windmill and the surrounding area, and have used the material they gathered to produce a book and exhibition. Continue reading