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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
25th May 1905 Born today: Binnie Barnes, London, actress (Adv of Marco Polo, Diamond Jim)
25th May 1878 Gilbert/Sullivans opera HMS Pinafore, premieres in London
A working mill from the twentieth century now fallen into disuse
Location: Blenheim Gardens, Brixton, London
Description: The Brixton Windmill was built in 1816, and leased the following year by John Ashby. John, his sons and grandson were millers producing stoneground wholemeal flour. The Ashby family operated the mill, which became known as Ashby's Mill, for the whole of its working life.
In 1902, when the lease on the Mitcham mill expired, a steam engine was fitted to power Brixton Windmill. This was later replaced by a gas engine but the mill was finally closed down in 1934.
It was originally painted with tar to give protection against the weather - hence the black colour of the brickwork.
In 1951, it was listed as a Grade II building, and remains on English Heritage's 'Buildings at Risk' register.
In 1971 Brixton Windmill was handed over to Lambeth Council in whose ownership it remains. At present, besides grassed open space and trees, Windmill Gardens has a children's playground and a One O'Clock Club.
The windmill is currently being refurbished (March 2011).
Tagged in this Tour: Weird photo ops