Ground to a halt: Campaigners bid to restart flour production at Brixton Windmill

11:11 30 June 2013

Brixton Windmill stopped producing flour in 1934. Picture: Owen Llewellyn/Friends of Windmill Gardens/PA Wire

Brixton Windmill stopped producing flour in 1934. Picture: Owen Llewellyn/Friends of Windmill Gardens/PA Wire

A 200-year-old, Grade II-listed windmill in south London could start grinding flour for the first time in nearly 80 years if a grassroots campaign is successful.

People trying to raise a £20,000 “flour fund” want to get local restaurants and bakeries involved in using flour made at Brixton Windmill, which stopped making the staple 1934.

Campaigners want to produce the flour from grain grown as close to the site in SW2 as possible.

Jean Kerrigan, the chairwoman of the Friends of Windmill Gardens, which is behind the campaign, said they hoped to start making flour in time for the building’s 200th anniversary in 2016.

“We really want to secure the future of the building,” she said.

“It was derelict for too long.

“When people come to see it they always ask ‘why doesn’t it make flour? Can it make flour?”

Originally one of 12 windmills in the area, “Ashby’s Mill” as it was known was built in what was then countryside south of London in 1816 and was a working mill for 50 years.

But the expansion of London’s Victorian terraced housing doomed it, because the newly built streets blocked the wind that turned its sails.

In 1902 it was given a new lease of life with first steam and then gas powering the millstones. It closed for the last time in 1934.

Now owned by Lambeth Council, it received a £581,000 restoration after receiving £400,000 of Lottery cash in 2010.

The sails turned for the first time in more than 70 years in November 2012, powered by electricity. It currently open at weekends for tours and educational visits, which would continue if the campaign is successful.

If it did start working again, the mill would use the steam-powered millstones installed 100 years ago, Mrs Kerrigan said, as the same problems with the wind it faced in the 19th century would still prevent the sails from working.

The “flour fund” launched by the Friends of Windmill Gardens is looking to raise £20,000 in four tranches of £5,000 for a feasibility study to see if a good “local” supply of grain can be found and whether flour can profitably be ground, marketed and then sold.

The group is also looking to start a social project collecting local people’s memories of the mill.

More information is available at

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
2 3 4 5 6

More from Around the web

Monday, September 28, 2015
This giant brown bear decided to take a nap under someone's porch (Picture: YouTube/Viral Hog)

A giant brown bear was found taking a quiet rest in a garden - watch some hair-raising moments while two men try to encourage the majestic creature to leave.

Monday, September 28, 2015
Uber might be the most popular car hire app, but it's not the only one (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Londoners have become addicted to getting a ride using their smartphone, because, let’s face it, it makes you feel like a wizard.

Friday, September 25, 2015
The masks might be scary, but the robbers were more like scaredy-cats (Photo: Nottinghamshire Police/YouTube)

These armed robbers got more than they bargained for when they tried to rob a shop in Nottinghamshire.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Eugene and his pack on a trip in the train (Photo: AR White/YouTube)

Eugene Bostick is an 80-year-old man from Texas with a big heart. He spends his days taking rescued stray dogs on adventures with a fun train he built himself.

Monday, September 21, 2015
David Cameron allegedly stuck a private part of his anatomy into a pig's mouth while an undergraduate at Oxford University (Picture: PA Images

Cassetteboy of YouTube fame has speedily mashed up moments from David Cameron’s speeches to create ‘Gettin’ Piggy With It’, a video based on allegations that the Prime Minister inserted ‘a private part of his anatomy’ into a dead pig while at Oxford University.

Friday, September 18, 2015
Cocaine was found hidden in a Kinder Surprise (Photo: Mysid/Wikimedia Commons)

Police found cocaine hidden in a Kinder Egg and cannabis stuffed in a wheelie bin when they raided a man’s home in Suffolk.

Don't Miss...

What is this?

Near You Now

Line-Up Events


You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Read more
Shop till you drop!

Here’s your chance to treat yourself to a new wardrobe and a whole lot more with this MyOffers competition to win an incredible £2,500 to spend at Primark on whatever you like!

Read more

Latest Tech News