February 24, 2017

A Minor Miracle in Brixton

Welcome to the next instalment of As the Bee Flies: Adventures in Free Range Navigation—  a series about life off the beaten track. By bike, by horse, by foot, by whatever means you care to get around by! We’d love to hear your stories of spontaneous exploration, or what you found on the way to your ultimate destination. And it need not be some far off exotic location, either. 

In this instalment, we stumble upon a tasty and educational urban oasis, in the heart of Brixton.

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While our home base of London is known for many things, iconic architecture, an ever-thriving music scene, middling food among them, we were surprised to learn there’s something tucked into Brixton you wouldn’t expect: A windmill!

Yes, while out wandering recently, we discovered that the up-and-come area was once a thriving hub of agriculture and food production, the windmill one of roughly a dozen to be found in the area, starting in the 16th century.

The Brixton Windmill recently saw its 200th anniversary, which makes it a relative newcomer on the scene, given they began to fade from prevalence as London began to dive headfirst into the industrial revolution in the 19th century.  Deep in a park off the street, and all but invisible when the trees have their leaves, this is a true secret treat.

Brixton, ever the contrarian to the status quo, has not only kept its windmill but made it a lively centre of activity with places like Pop Brixton.

Even better, as of this year, the windmill is once again being used to mill flour, now available in a number of local outlets. Sorry, McDougall’s, but we’re giving this locally made, Brixton flavoured flour a go. We may even jump in to volunteer to do the milling!

We were excited to learn that, as of this time next year, there will be a brand new education centre on site! In the meanwhile, you can go for Tai Chi classes now, year round.

As it turns out the climate was dodgy in the Brixton Windmill’s debut year too, but for a decidedly unusual reason: The largest recorded volcanic eruption in history, Mt Tambora. The resulting dust spreading globally, wreaking havoc on the summer weather. Like we needed any more help having cold summers!

We can’t wait to discover what’s round the next corner. What’s tucked into the background where you live?

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What are some of your favourite lesser-known spots you’ve come across recently? We’d love to hear about them, here in the comments, or if you’re game, in a post of your own, on here! 

Drop us a line at stories@beeline.co. Send us a brief blurb about what you’re thinking of sharing, and we’ll let you know if it’s a go. If it’s got visual elements to help tell the story, so much the better.

 


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