Brixton: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Brixton

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 51°27′47″N 0°06′22″W / 51.463°N 0.106°W / 51.463; -0.106

Lambeth Town Hall.jpg
Lambeth Town Hall
Brixton is located in Greater London

 Brixton shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ315755
London borough Lambeth
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LONDON
Postcode district SW9, SW2
Postcode district SE5
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
EU Parliament London
UK Parliament Streatham
London Assembly Lambeth and Southwark
List of places: UK • England • London

Brixton is an area of South London, England, in the London Borough of Lambeth. It is predominantly residential with a prominent street market and substantial retail sector.[1] Brixton is a multiethnic community, with around 24 percent of Brixton’s population being of African and/or Caribbean descent,[2] giving rise to Brixton as the unofficial capital of the British African-Caribbean community in London. Brixton is in Inner-South London and is bordered by Stockwell, Clapham, Streatham, Camberwell, Tulse Hill and Herne Hill.[3] Brixton houses the main offices of the London Borough of Lambeth.[4] The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.[5]



Brixton Windmill in 1864
Leaflet from Ashby's mill, Brixton, 1914

Brixton was the meeting place of the ancient Brixton hundred of Surrey. Brixton means 'Beorthsige's stone', from the Old English personal name and stan "stone". The last element is not Old English tun "farm, village", despite the modern -ton ending. It was recorded as Brixiestan in 1086 in the Domesday Book. The location of the stone, at the time used as a meeting point for communities, is not known.[6][7]

The area remained mostly waste land until the beginning of the 19th century, the main settlements being near Stockwell, Brixton Hill and Coldharbour Lane. With the opening of Vauxhall Bridge in 1816 improved access to Central London led to a process of suburban development. The largest single development, and one of the last in suburban character, was Angell Town, laid out in the 1850s on the east side of Brixton Road, and so named after a family which owned land in Lambeth from the late 17th century until well into the 20th. It was part of Surrey until the creation of the County of London in 1889.

One of a few surviving windmills in London, built in 1816, and surrounded by houses built during Brixton's Victorian expansion, is to be found just off Brixton Hill. The nearby 'Windmill' pub is named after it. When the London sewerage system was constructed during the mid-19th century, its designer Sir Joseph Bazalgette incorporated flows from the River Effra, which used to flow through Brixton, into his 'high-level interceptor sewer', also known as the Effra sewer.

Brixton transformed into a middle class suburb between the 1860s and 1890s. Railways linked Brixton with the centre of London when the Chatham Main Line was built through the area by the London, Chatham and Dover Railway in the 1860s. In 1880, Electric Avenue was so named after it became the first street in the area to be lit by electricity. In this time large expensive houses were constructed along the main roads in Brixton, which were converted into flats and boarding houses at the turn of the century as the middle classes were replaced by an influx of the working classes. By 1925 Brixton attracted thousands, amongst others housing the largest shopping centre in South London at the time, as well as a thriving market, cinemas, pubs and a theatre. In the 1920s Brixton was the shopping capital of South London with three large department stores and some of the earliest branches of what are now Britain's major national retailers. Today Brixton High Street is Brixton's main shopping area, fusing into Brixton Market. With a prominent building on Brixton High Street (472-488 Brixton Road), "Morleys Of Brixton" is an independent department store that survives from the 1920s.[8][9]

The Brixton area was bombed during World War II, contributing to a severe housing crisis, which in turn led to urban decay. This was followed by slum clearances and the building of council housing. In the 1940s and 1950s many immigrants, particularly from the West Indies, settled in Brixton.[9] More recent immigrants include a large Portuguese community and other EU citizens. Brixton also has an increasingly ageing population which affects housing strategies in the area.[10]

The Windrush generation

The Empire Windrush which brought immigrants from the Caribbean to Tilbury in 1948.
Windrush Square street sign[11]

The first wave of immigrants (492 individuals) that formed the British African-Caribbean community arrived in 1948 on the Empire Windrush from Jamaica and were temporarily housed in the Clapham South deep shelter. The nearest Labour Exchange (Job Centre) was in Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, and the new arrivals spread out into local accommodation.[12][13][14]

This first generation of the British African-Caribbean community is referred to as the "Windrush Generation" and immigrated to Britain when the British Nationality Act 1948 gave all citizens of Commonwealth countries the right of British citizenship. Britain was at the time considered the "Mother Country" of the Commonwealth.[12][14][15] The Windrush was en route from Australia to England via the Atlantic, docking in Kingston, Jamaica. An advertisement had appeared in a Jamaican newspaper offering cheap transport on the ship for anybody who wanted to come and work in Britain. Many only intended to stay in Britain for a few years, and although a number returned to the Caribbean, the majority remained to settle permanently.[12] The arrival of the passengers has become an important landmark in the history of modern Britain, and the image of West Indians filing off its gangplank has come to symbolise the beginning of modern British multicultural society.[12] In 1998 the area in front of the Tate Library in Brixton was renamed "Windrush Square" to mark the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush.[9]

Atlantic Road, August 2007

Brixton riots

Brixton was the scene of riots in April 1981 at a time when Brixton underwent deep social and economic problems — high unemployment, high crime, poor housing, no amenities — in a predominantly African-Caribbean community.[16] The Metropolitan Police began Operation Swamp 81 at the beginning of April, aimed at reducing street crime, mainly through the heavy use of the so-called sus law, which allowed police to stop and search individuals on the basis of a mere 'suspicion' of wrong-doing. Plain clothes police officers were dispatched into Brixton, and in five days almost 1,000 people were stopped and searched.[17] The riot resulted in almost 279 injuries to police and 45 injuries to members of the public;[7] over a hundred vehicles were burned, including 56 police vehicles; and almost 150 buildings were damaged, with thirty burned. There were 82 arrests. Reports suggested that up to 5,000 people were involved in the riot.[18]

Following the 1981 Brixton riot the Government commissioned a public inquiry into the riot headed by Lord Scarman. The Scarman report was published in November 1981 and found unquestionable evidence of the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of 'stop and search' powers by the police against black people. The report made a number of recommendations and lead to a new code for police behaviour in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 and the creation of an independent Police Complaints Authority in 1985.[19] The 1999 Macpherson Report, an investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence found that recommendations of the 1981 Scarman Report had been ignored and concluded that the police force was "institutionally racist".[20]

In the 1983 general election, the British National Party (BNP) obtained a Party Election Broadcast on television. The broadcast was transmitted on 31 May and consisted of John Tyndall, flanked by two Union Flags, and images of the 1981 Brixton riot as Tyndall's speech attempted to encourage nationalism over racism.[21] The giving of television time to the BNP was controversial, and was debated on Right to Reply on Channel 4.[22]

The 1985 Brixton riot followed the police shooting of a black woman, Dorothy 'Cherry' Groce, after the police entered her house looking for her son Michael Groce. Although the Brixton area subsequently saw pioneering community policing initiatives, the continued death of young black men in police custody (and in one case the death of a man pointing a fake gun at people) coupled with general distrust of the police led to smaller scale protests through the 1990s. The Brixton riots in 1995 were initially sparked by the death of a black man in police custody (Wayne Douglas) and occurred in an atmosphere of discontent about the gentrification of Brixton.

Former Prime Minister John Major's Brixton roots were used in a campaign poster during the Conservative Party's 1992 election campaign: "What does the Conservative Party offer a working class kid from Brixton? They made him Prime Minister."[23]

Brixton bombing

Electric Avenue, inspiration of the Eddy Grant single and site of the 1999 bombing

On 17 April 1999 neo-nazi bomber David Copeland planted a nail bomb in Electric Avenue, which exploded on a market day by the Iceland supermarket at the junction with Brixton Road (Brixton High Street). Around 50 people were injured. Copeland was sentenced to six life sentences in June 2000.

The Brixton bombing is reported to have targeted the black community in Brixton. Copeland also bombed Brick Lane, the heart of East London's Bangladeshi and Asian community, and the Admiral Duncan pub in Soho, London, frequented predominantly by the gay community. The BBC reports that Copeland intended to ignite a race war across Britain with his bombing campaign.[24]

JayDay Cannabis Festival

From 2001 to 2004 Brockwell Park hosted the annual Cannabis Festival, or JayDay, organised by the Cannabis Coalition. The police reportedly maintained a low profile, tolerating the smoking of cannabis.[25][26] In 2005 the London Borough of Lambeth rejected the application for a further Cannabis Festival on the following grounds:

"While Lambeth Council supports freedom of speech and the right to take part in a legitimate campaign, the council cannot condone illegal activities such as cannabis use and drug pushing - both of which have taken place at a previous festival held by the Cannabis Coalition. Indeed council officers monitoring the event in the past were approached by drug dealers who offered them drugs."[27]

Transition Town

Brixton was one of the first inner city based 'Transition Town' projects in the UK.[28] Brockwell Park hosts the now annual Urban Green Fair, first held in summer 2007.[29]

Brixton Pound

The Brixton Pound was launched on the 17 September by Transition Town Brixton.[30] The Brixton Pound is a local currency that is available as an alternative to the pound sterling.[31] The first trading day of the Brixton Pound was on the 18 September 2009 with 80 local businesses accepting the currency.[32]

The Brixton Pound aims to boost the local economy and build a mutual support system amongst independent businesses by tying local shoppers to local shops and by encouraging local shops to source goods and services locally.[32] The notes are available in B£1, B£5, B£10 and B£20 denominations and depict local celebrities such as the community activist Olive Morris and the environmentalist James Lovelock. Lambeth council has endorsed the project[32] which the new economics foundation helped to develop.[33]

Housing estates

The Loughborough Estate in the east of the area
Scotch bonnet peppers imported from the Caribbean on sale at Brixton Market. The peppers are a key ingredient of "Jerk" dishes (Caribbean cuisine).

Brixton is home to six big housing estates:Stockwell Park Estate off Stockwell and Brixton Roads respectively; Myatts Field off Vassall Road; Angell Town off Brixton Road on the boundary with Camberwell; Loughborough in the centre of Brixton; Moorlands Estate, situated off Coldharbour Lane; St Matthew's, located in the fork between Brixton Hill and Effra Road; Tulse Hill a little further south of St. Matthews.[2] The six estates account for a large part of the Brixton residence.[1]

Estates like the Stockwell Park Estate and the Angell Town Estate were originally designed to accommodate high-level walkways which were envisaged to link the whole of Brixton. The ground floor garages of these estates have proved to be a major security problem.[10] The Somerleyton Estate is dominated by Southwyck House (known locally as 'Barrier Block'), a large horseshoe-shaped brick and concrete 1970s structure which backs onto Coldharbour Lane. The 176-apartment block was originally constructed in this shape to provide a noise barrier against Ringway 1, a proposed inner-London motorway which was planned to pass through Brixton and Camberwell, later abandoned.[34]

Although Brixton still features some grand Victorian housing, some housing estates have been linked with urban decay and crime. New gates and iron bars have been constructed for the Loughborough Estate around Loughborough Road and Minet Road in response to a number of murders around the estate. The Loughborough Estate is home to more than 3,000 families and a mix of 1940s low-rise buildings and 1960s/1970s tower blocks and houses.[2] Problems of urban decay have been reported around Loughborough Junction, the catchment area for Loughborough Estate, the Angell Town Estate and the Moorlands Estate.[35]

Brixton Market

The heart of Brixton is Brixton Market, open every day selling a range of Afro-Caribbean products and reflects other communities in the local area with Indian and Vietnamese supermarkets and South American butchers amongst the shops and stalls.[citation needed]


Brixton murals

Brixton Academy Mural, 1982

After the riots in 1981 a series of murals was funded by the council, although there is no evidence to show that murals have any direct correlation to the level of violence within a community. The murals portray nature, politics, community and ideas. the surviving murals include the Brixton Academy Mural (Stockwell Park Walk) by Stephen Pusey (1982) showing a mixed group of young people, intended to portray the natural harmony that could be found between children of mixed backgrounds in the local schools.


O2 Academy Brixton (Brixton Academy)

There is a significant clubbing and live music scene. Large venues include the O2 Academy, The Fridge and Mass at St Matthew's Church. A range of smaller venues such as The Prince Albert, The Prince / DexClub, The Windmill, The Dogstar, Jamm, The Telegraph, Plan B, The 414, The Effra Tavern, Upstairs at the Ritzy, and The Grosvenor are a major part of London's live music scene. Due to the young population and thriving entertainment scene, pubs and nightclubs tend stay open later in Brixton which means that the area feels alive well into the early hours of the night.[36]

Brixton is also home to a 1970s purpose-built skatepark, named Stockwell Skatepark.

The Ritzy Cinema, Coldharbour Lane, is a formerly independent cinema now owned by Picturehouse Cinemas. The programme includes world cinema and regular Sunday matinees, films for kids on Sunday and monthly "Mother and Baby" screenings. There is also now a live venue 'Upstairs at the Ritzy' since the 2009 refurbishment. The building was designed as the Electric Pavilion in 1910 by E. C. Homer and Lucas, one of England’s first purpose-built cinemas. Will Self, author, says "The Ritzy is my local cinema and, as a citizen of the global village, it provides me simultaneously with the cosmopolitan and the cosy." [37]

Religious sites

Brixton Synagogue

Brixton Synagogue in Effra Road closed in the 1980s. The front of the building still exists.[38]

St Matthew's Brixton

Christian churches

Brixton lies within the Anglican Diocese of Southwark.[39] The grade II* listed St Matthew's Church, located on Brixton Green, was built in 1822 by the architect C F Porden in the Greek Revival style. It is one of the "Waterloo churches" built to celebrate Britain's victory at the Battle of Waterloo. Today, its basement is used as the venue for the "Mass" nightclub.

The 1868 parish church of St Jude, located on Dulwich Road, was designed by the architect John Kirk of Woolwich. It closed in 1975, and the parish merged with St Matthew's. The church building is today used as business premises by a publishing company.[40]

Christ Church on Brixton Road is an Art Nouveau and Byzantine-style Grade II* listed building built in 1902 by Beresford Pite,[41] and St Paul's church on Ferndale Road was originally built in 1958 as a Seventh Day Adventist church by John Soper.

Brixton is also in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark.[42]

Brixton Mosque

The Masjid ibn Taymeeyah, or Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre, is located in Gresham Road, close to Brixton Police Station. The mosque has facilities for both men and women and space for 400 worshippers during prayer.[43] Opened in 1990 it is one of the oldest mosques in South London. The mosque provides religious, social and financial support to its members.[44]

The mosque made international headlines when it was reported that Richard Reid, the so called "shoe bomber" had attended the mosque. Abdul Haqq Baker, chairman of Brixton Mosque told the BBC that Reid came to the mosque to learn about Islam but soon fell in with what he called "more extreme elements".[45] Zacarias Moussaoui, who was convicted of conspiring to kill citizens of the USA as part of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, made his initial steps into radical indoctrination in Brixton Mosque, where he met Reid, though he was expelled from the mosque after he turned up wearing combat fatigues and a backpack, and pressured the cleric to give him information on joining the jihad. Abdullah el-Faisal, a radical Muslim cleric who preached in the UK until imprisoned for stirring up hatred and later deported to Jamaica in 2007, was associated with the Brixton Mosque and began preaching to crowds of up to 500 people, but was ousted by its Salafi administration in 1993. [46][46] Afterward, he gave a lecture he called The Devil's Deception of the Saudi Salafis, scorning the Salafi Muslims (especially the members of the Brixton Mosque), calling them hypocrites and apostates (takfir).[47]

Brixton was a site of a conference after the London bombings, at which local Muslims condemned all use of terror and indiscriminate killing. Footage of the conference was included in a 6-part ITV series called Mosque. It included local Muslims talking about the discrimination they face from people not able to differentiate between Muslims and terrorists, and the local Brixton community, on the whole, is described as welcoming towards Muslims.[48]

Policing, drugs and crime

Operation Swamp

Before the 1981 riot was the centre of Operation Swamp 81 aimed at reducing street crime mainly through the heavy use of the so-called sus law, which allowed police to stop and search individuals on the basis of a mere 'suspicion' of wrong-doing. Plain clothes police officers were dispatched into Brixton, and in five days almost 1,000 people were stopped and searched. The local community was not consulted about the operation and tensions between the black community and the police on the streets of Brixton reached breaking point. Local residents complained about young, inexperienced police officers being sent on the streets, provoking confrontation.[49]

Gang culture

In 2003 The Independent reported that around 200 "hardcore Yardies" are based in Lambeth, some operating as members of "Firehouse Posse" or Brixton's "Cartel Crew".[50] Yardies were historically associated with Jamaican immigrants and had a recognised stronghold in Brixton. Parts of Brixton were referred to as "Little Tivoli" after "Tivoli Gardens", a notorious "garrison community" in Jamaica ruled by gunmen.[51][52] In 1999 a scandal broke over Metropolitan Police detectives allowing two known Jamaican Yardies to stay in Britain as an intelligence tool. Eaton Green, one of the Yardies, escaped bail in Jamaica in 1991 and settled in Brixton dealing in crack cocaine. Three months later Green was arrested by a Brixton constable, Steve Barker, and became a paid informer. Green provided intelligence about Yardie activity for two years, continuing the use of firearms and the dealing of crack throughout this time.[53]

Several gangs are headquartered in the Brixton area. The "Murderzone" (MZ) gang, which is involved in illegal drug dealing, hail from the Somerleyton Estate.[54] The "Poverty Driven Children"/"Paid in Full" (PDC/PIF) are located in the Angell Town and Loughborough Junction area.[55][56] "Organised Crime" (OC), a gang linked with various shootings and an ongoing rivalry with the Peckham Boys, are based in the Myatts Field Estate.[57][58]

Members of these gangs are mostly in their late teens or early 20s, with gang leaders usually being childhood friends. Brought up in some of London's poorest areas some gang members reportedly move from house to house on an almost nightly basis, making it hard to track them. According to the Metropolitan Police these youth gangs are "far from organised criminal masterminds" but shootings and thefts can lead to violent feuds. Operation Trident officers stated that it is a "struggle" to persuade local people to testify, because of fear of reprisals. Trident officers stated that some gang members were "inept at handling powerful guns", and that gangs have machine guns, 9 mm, real and converted replicas. According to the detective many of the deactivated guns are shipped in from the Balkans and then reactivated.[59]


Some media commentators have called Brixton the "the drugs capital of London"[60] and Val Shawcross, Labour representative on the London Assembly for Lambeth and Southwark, runs a "Brixton Drug Crime" campaign. She states on her website:

"I have been raising the disgraceful state of Brixton and the existence of an open drugs market in the centre - with the Council, Mayor and the Metropolitan police....The police, the Drugs and Firearms Unit and Transport Operational Unit officers have been undertaking long-term surveillance of the area(Brixton Town Centre) culminating in a three-day operation at the end of June to arrest those dealing Class A drugs...The police will be carrying out continuing covert operations in Brixton and patrolling with drug detection dogs. This is a long-term crackdown with the aim on cleaning the dealers out of Brixton."(retrieved July 2008)[61]

Brixton has a reputation for cannabis use, and the BBC has quoted a local resident as saying "People have always smoked cannabis in Brixton - everyone knows that, people have walked down the street smoking spliffs for years." This reputation was amplified by the "softly softly" police approach to cannabis that was piloted in Brixton in 2001 to 2005. Concerns were raised about "drug tourism" to the area.[35] The "softly-softly" pilot occurred in the context of a wider debate in Britain about the classification of cannabis. Despite the pilot being stopped and replaced by a "no deal" policy, the Metropolitan Police was in favour of a reclassification of cannabis from class B to class C. Cannabis was officially reclassified in Britain from a class B down to a class C drug in early 2004. In January 2009 the UK government reclassified cannabis back to a class B drug.[62][63][64]

Brian Paddick

In 2001 Brixton became subject of newspaper headlines due to the implementation of a pilot cannabis programme, also known as the "softly softly" approach, initiated by Brian Paddick, then Police Commander for the London Borough of Lambeth. Police officers were instructed not to arrest or charge people who were found to be in possession of cannabis. They were instead to issue on-the-spot warnings and confiscate the drugs. Although Paddick is credited with the idea, the pilot programme was sanctioned by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis, Sir John Stevens. Paddick asserts that he implemented the policy because he wanted his officers to deal with cannabis quickly and informally so that they could concentrate on heroin and crack cocaine offences, and street robbery and burglary, which were affecting the quality of life in Lambeth to a greater extent.[65] The pilot was ended December 2005 and was replaced by a so called "no deal" policy on cannabis in Brixton following complaints about increasing numbers of dealers openly selling the drug.[66]

Paddick was a sergeant on the front line during the 1981 Brixton riot,[67] an experience which shaped his attitudes about confrontational police action and strengthened his belief in community policing.[68] In December 2000 he was appointed Police Commander for the London Borough of Lambeth where he worked until December 2002,[69] fulfilling his ambition of becoming head of policing in Brixton.[70] Paddick gained much support from the local community for his approach to policing and addressed a rally in his support in March 2002, leading Dominic Casciani from the BBC to comment:

"If someone had said just five years ago that black, white, young and old, straight and gay, liberal and anarchist would all be standing together giving a standing ovation to a police commander in Brixton, people might have said they had smoked one spliff too many."[71]

Gun crime

In the mid-1990s Brixton was considered one of the most dangerous places in Britain, with Coldharbour Lane once holding the statistic of 3 shootings per week.[2] In March 1998, following a string of shootings in Lambeth and Brent, the Metropolitan Police launched Operation Trident, also known as "Trident", a London wide initiative to deal with gun crime in London's black community. Brixton is one of the focus areas of Operation Trident.

In June 1998 gun crime in Brixton was reported on widely in connection with the linked murder of Avril Johnson and Michelle Carby, in Brixton and Stratford respectively. Both women were shot in their homes in separate, but connected attacks. Both victims were shot in the head.[72] In 2008 Tony Thompson, a former Time Out news editor, reported that "Gun crime began to escalate following a series of South London gang executions in the late 1990s." Thompson states that "Previous Met operations were seen as putting down the black community. Trident, from the start, was intelligence-led and had strong links with the black community."[73]

In 2001 the Metropolitan Police raised concerns over rapidly increasing gun crime in London. At the time Lambeth had the highest rate of robberies in London. In July 2001 two armed police officers shot dead black 29 year old Derek Bennett in Brixton, Angell Town Estate, after Bennett brandished a gun-shaped cigarette lighter. The verdict of the subsequent inquest ruled that Bennett had been "lawfully killed", the verdict was upheld in a subsequent appeal.[74][75][76]

In December 2004 the Metropolitan Police reported that in Lambeth, police have had 271 offences involving the use, or possible use, of a gun since April 2001. Furthermore five murders had been designated as Trident investigations in Lambeth during 2001.

In December 2004 Operation Trident officers and armed officers were assisting Lambeth police in a number of stop and search operations targeting "suspected gunmen or vehicles that have been associated with firearms" and called "Operation Trident Swoop" by the police. The Metropolitan police hoped that "the searches will deter suspects from carrying weapons and prevent shootings taking place, as well as possibly recovering weapons and leading to arrests."[77] Superintendent Jerry Savill, Lambeth Police has responsibility for policing in the Brixton area, stated:

"This operation is aimed very specifically at people we have information to suggest may be involved in gun crime or other offences. We want to send out a very clear message to those who carry guns in Lambeth, don't. It is time to stop the vast majority of people in this borough feeling afraid to be on the street and make it the gunmen who are fearful of their community helping the police to arrest them."[77]

In September 2006 Brixton was the scene of a widely reported shooting, involving two boys being shot in the packed McDonalds on Brixton Road/Acre Lane.[78]

In 2007 firearm offences rose by 4 per cent in London, totalling 3,459 ‘gun-enabled’ crimes, including 30 gun murders of which nine victims were aged 18 or under. A series of gun crimes in the Brixton, Clapham and Streatham, including the shooting of three boys in one week, lead some media commentators to call the area ‘gun capital’.[79]

Cultural references


Sir Walter Raleigh is said to have had a house in Brixton and been visited there by Queen Elizabeth I, who travelled by barge up the (now underground) River Effra to meet him. However, the name of Raleigh Hall appears to have no links to Sir Walter, and the Effra is not known to have been navigable south of Kennington. Brixton is also mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories A Study in Scarlet, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle (1892) and The Adventure of the Three Garridebs (1924).

Brixton in song

Electric Avenue, the street which gave its name to Eddy Grant's 1982 single

References to Brixton in song started with the release of 'Whoppi King' by Laurel Aitken in 1968 and 'Brixton Cat' by Dice the Boss in 1969. This was followed in August 1975 by a song written and sung by Geraint Hughes and Jeff Calvert (who billed themselves as "Typically Tropical"): two white men who told the story of a Brixton bus-driver "going' to Barbados" with Coconut Airways to escape the rain in London.

The 1979 song "The Guns of Brixton" by The Clash deals with law enforcement violence in Brixton. Written by Paul Simonon, who grew up in Brixton, it had a reggae influence and showed the reggae roots of both Brixton and Paul Simonon's musical background.

Before a Jam gig, well-known punk band The Misfits were involved in a fight and thrown into Brixton Prison, which led them to write their song "London Dungeon".

Problems listening to this file? See media help.

Ian Hunter's 1981 album Short Back 'n' Sides contains a track called "Theatre of the Absurd" which refers to the Brixton law enforcement problem. "Play me some, play me some, play me Brixton power," is the chorus line, and the issue of race is opened with the first lines, "My tea turns seven shades darker as I sit and write these words. And London's gettin' paler, in my Theatre of the Absurd." The production of the record was overseen by Mick Jones of the Clash.

Eddy Grant's 1982 album Killer on the Rampage contains the smash "Electric Avenue", a reference to a shopping street in central Brixton, one of the first in the UK to have electric street lighting installed (when Brixton's character was very different). The song evokes images of poverty, violence and misery while also celebrating the vibe of the area.

The song "Waiting for the Worms" from Pink Floyd's The Wall has a rally leader speaking into a megaphone to a racist rally mob, which acts as some of the lyrics to separate verses of the song. The very first lyrics heard from the megaphone are, "We have been ordered to convene outside Brixton town hall..." The album was released in 1979, two years before the start of the riots of 1981.

The town featured in the song "Svarta pärlan i London" (The black pearl in London) by Swedish artist Thomas Di Leva.

The song "Reggae Fi Peach" and many other songs by reggae-dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson are set in Brixton.

The town also featured in the song "Has It Come To This?" by UK rapper The Streets.

The album "Quixotes of moons fights the Wind-mills of Brixton" by Project 5am

The song "Journey to the Centre of Brixton" by R.O.C.

The song "Brixton, Bronx ou Baixada" by Brazilian rock-reggae band O Rappa, tells about social differences.

The song "And God Created Brixton" features on the Carter USM album A World Without Dave. It mentions many of the most famous landmarks in the community including The Ritzy cinema and the prison.

Brixton has also been mentioned in the lyrics of songs by many Jamaican Dancehall artists namely Assassin, Bounty Killer, Buju Banton, Mavado (singer), Ninja Man and Vybz Kartel.

The song "Sister Rosetta" of Brixton based "acid-house-country-gospel" band Alabama 3 starts with a conversation between "Larry Love" (Rob Spragg) and "The Very Reverend Dr. D. Wayne Love" (Jake Black) and the district's name is included in the first sentence of the song:

"It's a rainy night in Brixton D. Wayne Why are you taking me downtown? I brought you down here for a reason, Larry you've been a faithful little reverend due in the mountain of dessiminating the dope music to people all over the world but I haven't been wholly straightforward with you Larry but tonight, I think you're about to move a stage further in my twelve step plan which you have fought so diligently..."

UK hip hop collective The Illersapiens feature a track entitled "Brixton" on their debut EP, a tribute to the hometown of the group's lead rapper Mr. Man. Simmilarly, the Pop-Punk group Zebrahead make reference to a Brixton as a song title on their album Phoenix, whether this refers to the english city is debateable.

The Thin Lizzy song Half Caste, which was released in 1975 as the B-side of Rosalie, refers to Brixton. It has a reggae inspired beat and sound.

The song "Me and Mr Jones" by Amy Winehouse briefly refers to Brixton. "Rulers one thing, but come Brixton"

Brixton in film

Director Richard Parry shot a film here (released in 2001) called South West Nine (SW9), referring to the postcode covering much of central Brixton. Confusingly, this postcode is officially that of Stockwell - although the northern part of Brixton falls within the boundary - whereas SW2 (the Brixton Hill sorting office) also covers Tulse Hill A204 road, Streatham Hill and Brixton Hill.

"Reg Llama of Brixton" was mentioned in the (farcical) opening credits of the 1975 comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Brixton was also mentioned in the film V for Vendetta as being the location where the first riots against Chancellor Adam Sutler's authoritarian British government broke out, which resulted in Sutler calling out the army to try and stop growing public support for "V".

The film Johnny Was, with the exception of a number of flashback sequences, is set entirely in Brixton.

Ross Kemp filmed in Brixton on two occasions for his programme Ross Kemp on Gangs.

In the 1957 film The Prince and the Showgirl, the character played by Marilyn Monroe is from "Brixton Water Lane, Brixton".

In the 1980 film Scum, a prison warder beats up a black inmate and yells at him that he is a "black Brixton slag".

The 1980 film "Babylon" was set in Brixton.

In the 1980 film The Long Good Friday the section where Harold Shand (Bob Hoskins) finds and questions Errol was filmed in Vila Road, off Brixton Road.

Michael Caine could be seen under the Victor Value supermarket sign in Atlantic Road near the railway station in the film Alfie and a large fight scene was filmed in a soon to close pub in Brixton Road.



Brixton tube station entrance
Brixton railway station
An old Routemaster bus


Brixton tube station, opened in 1971, is the southern terminus of the Victoria line of the London Underground, which has trains operating to Central London.

Nearest tube stations:


Trains operate from Brixton railway station between London Victoria and Kent.


Brixton sits on several main roads. The A23 London to Brighton road runs North-South through the area. There is also the A203 which links to Vauxhall Bridge along with the A204 and A2217. Brixton was due to be a major interchange of the South Cross Route, part of the London Ringways plan, which was cancelled in the 1970s.


Brixton is a main meeting point for many London buses routes: 2, 3, 35, 37, 45, 59, 109, 118, 133, 159, 196, 250, 322, 333, 345, 355, 432, 415, P4 and P5. In 2005, the last traditional Routemaster bus ran through Brixton.


Transport for London proposed building the Cross River Tram from Camden Town to Brixton via central London, but this project was abandoned in 2008 due to lack of funding.

Famous people from Brixton

Former Prime Minister John Major
Poet Linton Kwesi Johnson

Three people who have lived in Brixton have blue plaques marking their former homes:

Other notable people with Brixton connections include:

  • Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone grew up and lived for many years in Brixton
  • Former British Prime Minister John Major spent part of his childhood in a two-room flat off Coldharbour Lane living with his father, former Music Hall performer Tom Major-Ball, and started his political career as a Lambeth Councillor while still living in the area.
  • Max Wall Comedian and music hall performer was born in Brixton.
  • Freddie Davies the comedian and actor was born in Brixton in 1937.


  1. ^ a b "Brixton Guide". All In London. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d History of Brixton
  3. ^ "Streetmap of Brixton". Streetmap EU Ltd. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  4. ^ "Lambeth Council office locations". London Borough of Lambeth. 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  5. ^ Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)". Greater London Authority. 
  6. ^ Surrey Domesday Book
  7. ^ a b A short history of Brixton, Lambeth, London, SW9 and SW2, with links to local history sites, historical societies, Black history and more
  8. ^ Morleys Of Brixton
  9. ^ a b c London Borough of Lambeth | A short history of Brixton
  10. ^ a b Stockwell Park Estate
  11. ^ Windrush Square Icons: A portrait of England. Accessed 6 October 2006.
  12. ^ a b c d British history : The making of modern Britain BBC Online : Mike Phillips, 1998. Accessed 4 October 2006.
  13. ^ Small Island Read 2007: The Windrush Generation
  14. ^ a b Empire Windrush History
  15. ^ Small Island Read 2007: The Windrush Generation
  16. ^ Kettle, Martin & Hodges, Lucy (1982) Uprising!: Police, the People and the Riots in Britain's Cities
  17. ^ Battle for Brixton,
  18. ^ The GuardianHow smouldering tension erupted to set Brixton aflame, 13 April 1981
  19. ^ 1981 riots timeline Untold History (Channel Four Television) accessed 6 March 2009
  20. ^ "Q&A: Stephen Lawrence murder". BBC News. 2004-05-05. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  21. ^ Martin Harrison in The British General Election of 1983, Macmillan 1983, p. 155
  22. ^ "Tyndall's race policy", The Times, 4 June 1983, p. 5
  23. ^ Bennett, Gillian (1996). ""Camera, Lights Action!": The British General Election 1992 as Narrative Event". Folklore 107: 94 – 97. Retrieved 2007-06-28. 
  24. ^ BBC News | UK | Profile: Copeland the killer
  25. ^ Jayday Cannabis March and Festival, Kennington Park to Brockwell Park, London
  26. ^ Jayday Cannabis March and Festival, Kennington Park to Brockwell Park through Brixton, 5th June 2004
  27. ^ cannabis coalition (uk)
  28. ^ Transition Towns wiki
  29. ^
  30. ^ The Brixton Pound
  31. ^ Brixton Pound Moves Town Closer To ‘Transition Town’ Status
  32. ^ a b c Brixton has run on the pound as shoppers clamour for local currency
  33. ^ Brixton Pound ready for launch
  34. ^ "Brixton: Barrier Block". Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  35. ^ a b BBC NEWS | UK | 'Brixton's gone to pot'
  36. ^ London Brixton
  37. ^ Ritzy Cinema | Coldharbour Lane | Brixton | SW2 1JG
  38. ^ photo
  39. ^ "Lambeth North Deanery". Church of England. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  40. ^ "East Brixton St Jude". Former places of worship in the Diocese of Southwark. Church of England. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  41. ^ "East Brixton Rd Christ Church". Church of England. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  42. ^ "Corpus Christi Brixton Hill". Archdiocese of Southwark. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  43. ^
  44. ^ Brixton Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre, Museums, Heritage UK
  45. ^ BBC News | UK | Shoe bomb suspect 'one of many'
  46. ^ a b Johnston, Philip (27 May 2007). "7 July preacher Abdullah El-Faisal deported". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 December 2007. 
  47. ^ "Video of lecture 'The Devil's Deception of the Saudi Salafis'". 
  48. ^ YouTube - islam in london brixton pt1 mosque salafis pure islam
  49. ^ Battle for Brixton, [1] [2]
  50. ^ Focus: Gun Culture: Gun gangs of the capital | Independent on Sunday, The | Find Articles at BNET
  51. ^ Jamaica Gleaner 25 February 2002
  52. ^ gangsinlondon blog
  53. ^ The Guardian 16 February 1999
  54. ^
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ Criminal gangs use Islam to intimidate victims | UK news | The Guardian
  60. ^ "The dealers think they're untouchable now..." | UK news | The Observer
  61. ^ Val Shawcross: Brixton Drug Crime
  62. ^ Police relax attitude towards cannabis possession | UK news | The Guardian
  63. ^ BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Cannabis will remain class C drug
  64. ^ Policing cannabis as a Class C drug
  65. ^ Moss, Stephen (2007-09-18). "The Man Who Would be Mayor [print version: Out But Not Down]". The Guardian (g2). pp. 12–15.,,2171412,00.html. 
  66. ^ The Independent
  67. ^ Hopkins, Nick (2002-03-19). "Trials and Errors of Controversial Cop : How Onslaught by Critics Took its Toll of Ambitious Gay Police Chief". The Guardian.,4273,4376924,00.html. 
  68. ^ The Battle for Brixton, an April 2006 BBC2 documentary.
  69. ^ Dodd, Vikram (2003-11-28). "The Guardian Profile : Brian Paddick". The Guardian.,,1095211,00.html. 
  70. ^ "About Brian". BrianPaddick4London. 2007-09-09. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  71. ^
  72. ^
  73. ^ Time Out
  74. ^
  75. ^
  76. ^
  77. ^ a b Operation Trident Swoop - Metropolitan Police Service
  78. ^ Boys shot in Brixton McDonald's
  79. ^ The Metropolitan Police's Operation Trident on Gun Crime – Time Out London
  80. ^ Search Blue Plaques : Blue Plaques : Research & Conservation : English Heritage
  81. ^ Search Blue Plaques : Blue Plaques : Research & Conservation : English Heritage
  82. ^ x-ray spex official site/poly's biography 1
  83. ^ Paramedic to the planet | By genre | Books

La Roux

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to London/Lambeth article)

From Wikitravel

Brixton Town Hall
Brixton Town Hall

Lambeth is a district of inner southwest London.


Lambeth was traditionally a largely deprived area of Inner London with very dense housing. However, than began to cvhange in the 1990s as the inevitable gentrification that was so apparent in just about all of inner London also manifested itself here.

Brixton is a colourful, unique urban area that is like nowhere else in London. Brixton has a mix of residents, ranging from people that have lived in the district for generations to new residents that have moved prompted by a new trendy image that it has gained. It is a multi-ethnic community, with around 24 percent of the population being of African and/or Caribbean descent, giving rise to Brixton being called the unofficial capital of the British African-Caribbean community in London. The diverse population originates from the 1940s and 50s, when Britain invited large numbers from the West Indies to fill the job gaps. It still has an edgy reputation left over from the race riots in the 80 and 90s and the easy availability of drugs.

There is a thriving scene for clubbing and live music. There are also several markets stretching across the town where you can pick up all manner of exotic foods, textiles and jewellery. It also well known for its nightlife, particularly Brixton Academy and the Fridge along with many other interesting bars, pubs and clubs to explore which easily takes you through to dawn.

Kennington is a mixed class residential area, and is the location of the The Oval, the well-known cricket stadium. Kennington appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as Chenintune. It was held by Teodric (Theodoric) the Goldsmith. It rendered: 1 hide and 3 virgates; 3 ploughs, 4 acres (16,000 m2) of meadow. It rendered £3. Edward III gave the manor of Kennington to his oldest son Edward "the Black Prince" in 1337, and the prince then built a large royal palace between what is now Black Prince Road and Sancroft Street. Geoffrey Chaucer was employed at Kennington as Clerk of Works in 1389. He was paid 2 shillings. Much of this area of Kennington continues to be owned by the current monarch's elder son to the present day.

Kennington Park (laid out by Victorian architect James Pennethorne) and St Mark's Churchyard now cover the site of Kennington Common. In 1746 the Surrey County Gallows at the southern end of the common was used for the execution of nine leaders of the Jacobite rebellion of 1745. The Common was also where the Chartists gathered for their biggest demonstration in 1848. "The Gymnastic Society" met regularly at Kennington Common during the second half of the eighteenth century to play football. The Society - arguably the world's first Football club - consisted of London-based natives of Cumberland and Westmoreland.

Kennington Park Road and Clapham Road is a long and straight stretch of road because it follows the old Roman Stane Street. This ran down from the Roman London Bridge to Chichester via the gap in the North Downs at Box Hill near Dorking. Another Roman road branched off opposite Kennington Road and went down through what is now Kennington Park and down the Brixton Road. It carried on through the North Downs near Caterham to Hassocks, just north of the South Downs.

Get in

By tube

The district is serviced by the following tube stations:

  • Brixton (Victoria line)
  • Stockwell (Victoria line)
  • Lambeth North (Bakerloo line)
  • Vauxhall (Victoria line)
  • Elephant and Castle (Bakerloo and Northern lines)
  • Kennington (Northern line)
  • Oval (Northern line)
  • Clapham North (Northern line)

By train

Vauxhall station

Lambeth Bridge with Lambeth Palace in the background
Lambeth Bridge with Lambeth Palace in the background
  • Brockwell Park, Herne Hill (From town walk up Effra Rd, take a left into Brixton Water Ln, and look out for entrance on the right), [1]. Daily. A large hilly green park, 10-minute walk from the centre of Brixton. Has the following facilities: Brockwell Lido, children's play area, paddling pool, café, flower gardens, sports facilities, toilets and several ponds. Brockwell Park also has a BMX track, but it will not be used for the Olympics 2012 BMX Racing as a dedicated track is being built in the Olympic Village. Free.  edit
  • Charles Chaplin plaque, 287 Kennington Rd. Charles Chaplin lived with his mother in various addresses in and around Kennington Rd in Lambeth, including 3 Pownall Terrace, Chester St and 39 Methley St and briefly lived with his father and his mistress, Louise, at 287 Kennington Rd where a plaque now commemorates the fact. After Chaplin's mother was admitted to the Cane Hill Asylum, her son was left in the workhouse at Renfrew Rd in Kennington.  edit
  • Lambeth Palace, Lambeth Palace SE1 7JU (tube: Lambeth North), [2]. Library Exhibition only: May-July, M-S 10AM-5PM.. The palace hs been the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury since the 13th century. Guided tours of Lambeth Palace are incredibly popular and there has been a substantial waiting list for some years . However, the Treasures of Lambeth Palace Library exhibition will be open to the general public in 2010 and will show some remarkable treasures including an original Gutenburg Bible and the 9th century MacDurnan Gospels. £8 for the Libray Exhibition.  edit
  • Kennington Park, Kennington Park Rd, SE11 4BE (tube: Oval), [3]. Small London park with some lovely tended gardens.  edit
  • Museum of Garden History, Lambeth Palace Rd SE1 7LB (tube:Lambeth North), +44 20 7401 8865 (), [4]. Daily 10.30AM-5PM. In an old chrch which is also hosted the tomb of Captain Bligh of The Bounty mutiny fame. THe museum charts the history of garden design and gardening. £6, under 16s free..  edit
  • Brixton Academy, 211 Stockwell Rd, [5]. Live music venue for audiences as large as 4,000 in a beautiful Art Deco building.  edit
  • Brixton Tours, [6]. Specialises in one hour tours of Brixton, taking in the history, culture and local attractions of this part of London. £10 for group tours. £20 for one to one tours.  edit
  • Brixton Audio Tour, [7]. Alex Wheatle, the Brixton Bard, takes you on a personal journey through the vibrant streets of Brixton that have been his inspiration.  edit
  • Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road SE1 6HZ, +44 20 7416 5320 (), [9]. An afternoon's worth of British military history. The same institution owns the Central London HMS Belfast (South Bank, a WWII cruiser, now a floating museum extensive enough to satisfy the most warlike husband or son), Cabinet War Rooms and Duxford Air Museum (Cambridgeshire) (an airbase a day trip from London with five hangars of historic aircraft). Free except some temporary exhibitions.  edit
  • The Oval (The Britoval, Kennington Oval), Kennington SE11 5SS (tube: Oval), 08712 461100 (), [10]. The second home of English cricket in London after Lords. You will find getting a ticket to a match involving England very difficult but Surrey play their home games here and tickets are nearly always available for those.  edit
  • Stockwell Skate Park, Stockwell Park Walk. Also ironically named Brixton Beach, this free skate park was originally built in 1970s. Both skateboarders and BMXers can regularly be seen riding or simply hanging out on the edges.  edit
  • Brixton Markets. M Tu, Th-Sa 8AM-6PM, W 8AM-5PM. Brixton Market consists of several different parts. The main section is Electric Avenue, selling mainly fruit, vegetables and meat, which also has a very good Chinese supermarket. On Pope's Road you will find clothes and bric-a-brac. You will find more indoor markets around the area such as: Brixton Village (between Pope's Road and Coldharbour Lane), Reliance Arcade (between Brixton Road and Electric Lane) and Granville Arcade (running between Electric Lane and Atlantic Road). These sell everything from wigs, clothes, pets, exotic foods and coffee.  edit
  • Nubian Natural Retail Store & Therapy Centre, 1&3 Vining St, +44 20 7733 8277. M-Sa 11AM-6:30PM. A stylish boutique store selling natural body care, unusual jewellery, books and natural supplements. Offers a great service in a classy environment. Body care range has reputation for being effective and good value for money. Recently opened a therapy centre offering beauty treatments and massage therapies.   edit


There are many different types of food available in Brixton, from Caribbean to Eritrean and fish and chips to noodles. You will find most of the restaurants on Coldharbour Ln and Atlantic Rd. Here are few noted establishments. Clapham High St has a good selection of restaurants.

  • Asmara, 386 Coldharbour Lane (Facing the Dogstar), +44 20 7737 4144. 5:30PM-12:30AM. Small friendly restaurant serving interesting Eritrean food.  edit
  • Bruno's (formerly Cafe Pushkar), 424 Coldharbour Ln, +44 20 7738 6161. A vegetarian and organic licenced cafe right in the centre of Brixton.  edit
  • Eco Pizza (formerly Pizzeria Franco), 4 Market Row Electric Ln, +44 20 7738 3021, [12]. Until 5PM. Tasty reasonable priced pizzas, calzones and sandwiches using fresh ingredients.  edit
  • Fujiyama, 7 Vining St, +44 20 7737 2369, [13]. M-Sa noon-1AM, Su noon-midnight. As a Japanese noodle bar, the food is similar to Wagamama's but this is a much smaller and friendlier place. It is very good value for money, for about £6 you get a plate of noodles that will fill up any big appetite. They have ramen, bento boxes, don buri, miso soups, pan fried noodles and various curry and rice dishes. They also do some freshly squeezed juices along with the usual beers, wines and sake.  edit
  • Ichiban Sushi, 58a Atlantic Rd. M-Sa noon-10:30PM. Great freshly prepared sushi and tofu dishes.  edit
  • Negril, 132 Brixton Hill. M-W 10AM-6PM, Th-Sa 10AM-10PM,Su 10AM-6PM. Jamaican restaurant that serves traditional Jerk chicken and Caribbean curries. Most of the food is organic and they make their own fresh fruit juice. Reasonable priced and has lovely patio area.  edit
  • Number 22, 22 Half Moon Lane (tube: Herne Hill, next to Brockwell Park). M-F 5PM-11PM, Sa-Su noon-11PM. Spanish cuisine and cocktails in a small and comfortable setting and even has a courtyard in the back. Great paella!  edit
  • El Panzon, Dog Star, 389 Coldharbour Ln, +44 20 7924 9888, [14]. For some of the tastiest Mexican food in London. Specialising in tacos and burritos, they also offer a selection of authentic Mexican dishes. Very cheap eating!  edit
  • Satay Bar, 447 Coldharbour Ln (tube: Brixton), +44 20 7326 5001. M-Th noon-11PM, F noon-1AM, Sa 1PM-1AM, Su 5PM-1AM. Brixton's longest running restaurant, specialising in Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai cuisine. Also has a cocktail bar and lounge with extensive cocktail list and premium drinks menu. Located next to the Ritzy Cinema. Probably Brixton's busiest restaurant. Run's many specials including lunch special at £4.95.  edit
  • Wang Fa, 208 Coldharbour Ln (Next to Loughborough Junction Railway Station), [16]. M-Sa noon-10:30PM. Authentic Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Bento boxes, pad Thai, mizo, spare ribs.  edit


Brixton has the advantage that every night you can stay out drinking later than almost anywhere else in London. Even on a Sunday, there are plenty of bars open until 2AM if you really do not want the weekend to end. The more interesting and local bars are dotted down backstreets.

  • Duke Of Edinburgh, Ferndale Rd. Only really worth going if the weather is sunny, as the pub itself is nothing to write home about. Step out through the back and you will find a massive beer garden, and the only thing waking you to the reality that you are still in Brixton is the trains that clatter by every 15 minutes or so.  edit
  • The Effra, 38a Kellett Rd, +44 20 7274 4180. A winning combination of great Guinness, a friendly mixed crowd and superb live jazz on weekdays and Sundays.  edit
  • The Grovenor, 17 Sidney St. Fabulous old school boozer with two bars and a pool table. There is large function room at the back with a growing reputation for putting on interesting rock, reggae and punk acts.  edit
  • Mango Landin, 40 St Matthews Rd, +44 20 7737 3044. This place is far more successful than its former Russian incarnation, Babushka's. It manages to balance nightlife and families quite well. It is packed out on the weekends, with varied DJs and occasional Tango lessons on a weekdays. There is a organic veg stall on the weekend, and seems to be very family friendly (there is always kids tearing around on the weekend). Overall a nice little pub, no attitude, no bouncers, no charge to get in, and little eccentricity.  edit
  • Marquis of Lorne, 36 49a Dalyell Rd, +44 20 7274 1638. Sporting an immaculate and beautifully preserved exterior, this quiet pub deserves to be much better known.  edit
  • Prince Albert, 416 Coldharbour Ln. A local favourite that still stubbornly remains a simple pub, without succumbing to standard London bar makeover. Good atmosphere with plenty of places to sit down inside plus a tiny outside beer garden, which is nice in the summer. Opens for normal pub hours.  edit
  • Prince of Wales/Dex, 469 Coldharbour Ln, +44 20 7501 9061. The downstairs pub has a late licence while the exquisitely restored upstairs Dex Club is a members only affair and well worth a visit. There is also a boutique hotel on the top floor. In the boozer, there's free wi-fi with any bar purchase, making it a good place for daytime meetings.  edit
  • Windmill, 22 Blenheim Gardens (Off Brixton Hill), +44 20 8671 0700, [17]. A bit of a trek from the Brixton tube (about 15 minutes walk), but it's a gem worth discovering. This small pub regularly hosts live music from up and coming bands, in the past seeing Bloc Party before they hit big time. Sunday nights they have DJs. Usually only about £3 to get in.  edit
  • Babalou (Formerly Bug Bar), (Under St. Matthew's Church, Brixton Hill), +44 20 7738 3184. Until 2AM (3AM on Sa). Plays a mixture of jazz/hip-hop/funk and house in this cosy underground venue. Has regular guest DJs and special nights. Admission is charged on the weekends, and expect big queues after 9pm. In the summer there is outside seating, but make sure you get a stamp on weekends, so you get back in free.  edit
  • Brixtonian Havana, Beehive Pl (By the Brixton Recreation Centre). One of the few late, free bars on the weekend. It is famous for its bewildering selection of rums, and you will probably exit with a lighter wallet and head than when you walked in. It can get very busy on the weekends.  edit
  • Dogstar, 389 Coldharbour Ln, +44 20 7733 7515, [18]. Su-Th till 2AM, F Sa till 4AM. One of Brixton's long time favourites and worth a visit for a night out. It still runs an eclectic mix of dance music, covering hip-hop, reggae, r&b, ska and house. Has dance floor, big old sofas and screen for sports matches. Upstairs there is Moca (Caribbean restaurant) and a third floor to hire out for private parties. Admission free weekdays, charges on weekends.  edit
  • Fridge Bar, 1 Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill (Next to the Fridge nightclub), +44 20 7326 5100. Until 2AM weekdays and until 11AM on weekends. This has a very stylish bar upstairs, with a chilled out atmosphere, downstairs however is the gloomy, sleazy dance floor which depending on your mood you may love or hate. Music selection is a mix of R&B, soul and hip-hop. Admission is charged on the weekends. Credit cards are not accepted. Security, while friendly, is tight. You will be searched upon entering the bar.  edit
  • Tongue and Groove, 50 Atlantic Rd, +44 20 7274 8600. W-Su 7PM-3AM. A long slender bar flanked with comfy leather seating, for slumping on after a long day. The cocktail bar is good, but very expensive (including bottled beers). It charges on the weekends, it is best to make the most of the quieter times in the week. Has one of the swankiest toilets in this part of town.  edit
  • White Horse, 94 Brixton Hill, Brixton. Until 3AM on weekends. Typical London pub with outdoor area and pool table. Serves food. DJs usually play Funk music on the dance floor (although you should expect it to be crowded on Fri and Sat after 11). No entry fee.  edit
  • The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, [19]. A landmark. Features the Dame Edna Experience on Sundays.  edit


Surprisingly, Brixton has very little in the way of accommodation, and you are more likely to be staying in Victoria (10-15 minutes on tube or train).

  • Belgrave Hotel, 13 Clapham Rd, +44 20 7793 0142. Nice little economy hotel with friendly staff. Very simple clean rooms.  edit
  • Chelsea Guest House, 13 Clapham Rd, +44 20 7793 0142. Nice little economy hotel with friendly staff. Very simple clean rooms.  edit
  • Church Street Hotel, 29 Camberwell Church St (Two miles from the Brixton tube station, bus goes from Brixton Academy to right by the hotel), +44 20 7703 5984. Small beautifully decorated boutique hotel.  edit
  • London Hotel, 411 Coldharbour Ln, +44 20 7737 0837. Small budget hotel.  edit
  • No 7 Guesthouse, 7 Josephine Avenue (A ten minute walk from Brixton tube). A bed and breakfast run by a friendly gay couple.  edit
  • Aa's Communication Internet Cafe, 248 Kennington Park Road, +44 20 7820 8946.  edit
  • Apollo Home Entertainment, 400-402 Brixton Road, +44 20 7733 8330. A video/DVD hire shop which has branched out into providing internet access.  edit
  • Internet Exchange, Brixton Library, Brixton Oval (Next to Ritzy Cinema), +44 20 7926 1056, [20]. M 1PM-8PM, Tu Th 10AM-8PM, W F 10AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Free use of computers for internet and word processing, although you may have to queue. No food or drink.  edit

Stay safe

There are many drug dealers (marijuana, cocaine) that will approached visitors as soon as they get off the tube at Brixton. Buying from them will likely get you arrested, ripped off or scammed (for example oregano instead of pot). It's highly recommended that you don't deal with these individuals.

At night, stick to well-lit, busy areas if possible. Brixton is generally quite safe but wandering down any poorly lit backstreets in London is always a risk.

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BRIXTON, a district in the south of London, England, included in the metropolitan borough of Lambeth.

<< Brixham

Julien Auguste Pelage Brizeua >>

Simple English

Brixton is a place in south London. It has a lot of people from the Caribbean. It has a big market and many nightclubs.

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address