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Friday, 20 September 2013

Brixton in 2013

Image: freedigitalphotos


Brixton is part of the London borough of Lambeth. It is an inner-city area lying due south of central London, about four miles from Charing Cross. The SW9 and SW2 post codes are both in Brixton. There are open spaces to the South (Brockwell Park) and West (Clapham Common).


Until the middle of the nineteenth century, Brixton was essentially an agricultural settlement, although there had been a Roman village here and Brixton is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The first development was in early Victorian times when Vauxhall Bridge linked Brixton to Central London; later, the arrival of the railway led to major residential expansion.


In 1954, West Indian immigrants arriving on the Empire Windrush were accommodated nearby, and this began Brixton's history as one of Britain's earliest multicultural communities. Nowadays Brixton is the focus of London's Black cultural activity, and also houses ethnic communities originating all over the world.


The Victoria tube line has its terminus in central Brixton, and is used every day by thousands of commuters. There are also good surface trains to central London and the Kent coast, and many bus routes linking Brixton to the City and the rest of South London.


Central Brixton has a good range of supermarkets and shops, including Morley's, a traditional department store. Food shopping is an exciting experience, with shoppers from a wide area converging on Brixton Market, which opens every day, selling a huge variety of fruit and vegetables from all over the world. There is also a weekly farmer's market.


Brixton is a focus for creative and artistic enterprises, including TV and film production, graphic and web design, and music-related industry. In recent years there has been an big influx of young creative professionals who have set up businesses in the area.


Music-lovers from all over London and beyond flock to the Brixton Academy, which is a major venue. The Ritzy Cinema is a well-known Art Deco landmark which has been modernised and refurbished into an exciting multi-screen movie theatre. Brixton has a wide range of pubs and eating-places which attract a young cosmopolitan crowd.


Brixton Village is a converted mall housing over twenty restaurants and cafes, which is well known as a place where you can eat exciting international food at very reasonable prices. Restaurants open in Brixton every month, and 'pop-ups' are appearing all the time, so there is always somewhere new to try.


There are primary and secondary schools within walking distance of every part of Brixton. Many have high reputations; St Martin In The Fields High School For Girls, for example, is a Church of England Academy with excellent A level results.


In the past, Brixton's property prices have been lower than most of inner-city London, which has contributed to its development as a centre for artists and entrepreneurs. As its reputation has grown, prices have begun to rise, so that although it still has affordable property, many expect that in time property values will match those of traditionally more affluent areas.

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