01 August, 2013
Brixton Windmill and the Rookery, Streatham
I didn't know there was a windmill in Brixton, but there is and it is an ancient monument. The windmill is in the south of Brixton in a rather scrubby little park with a non-working drinking fountain. The windmill is covered in tar as a kind of primitive weatherproofing and it's type is known as a tower mill, rather similar to remains of mills on farms seen during my youth in County Durham. The sweeps, or sails, would once have been covered with canvass and are new after the old sails were burnt in the 1860s. Yo can visit the mill inside, which might be a whole lot more interesting than staring at it from the outside, but it is small so probably quite a lot of ladders meaning it is not suitable for the infirm. We first met The Rookery in 2006 when I walked in it as a deviation from the Capital Ring. The Gardens have celebrated their centenery on 23 July this year and were purchased when the Streatham Spa went into decline. You can still see one of the wells, which still has water in it although wether it is still sulphur water or chalybeate I could not determine by smell. Water could be had for 6d a gallon in 1878, delivered for 1/6. It could cure a lot of things too, such as gravel, giddiness and eczema. Now the gardens are simply formal and informal gardens with what one mother described as a fairy path, with water flowing down it in a rockery. I could well believe it.