Brill windmillToday, a friend and I went out to the chocolate box village of Brill, Buckinghamshire.

Brill is famous mainly for its windmill which, as well as being picturesque in itself, sits on a hill with an amazing view over the surrounding countryside. It was an ideal day – sunny with a light breeze.

It turns out that there is more to Brill than the windmill, two churches, a couple of very upmarket pubs and a designer butcher’s shop.

The Common is made up of heavily dug former clay pits which date back to the days when Brill had a thriving brick-making and pottery industry. And whilst many villages have shops run by volunteers, Brill has its very own community herd of cattle which is helping to improve biodiversity by restoring the area to grazed grassland.

Cow grazing on Brill Common

Cow grazing on Brill Common

One of the things that intrigued me was the plethora of house signs indicating Brill’s former existence as a busy working community with inns, stables, forges and bakery – although it could just be that somebody had got hold of a job lot of house signs.

Most bizarre fact of the day was to discover that the village had once been on the London Underground network.

History of brickmaking (village website);
Brill community herd
Brill, Bucks. 2013 (and 1968) , a set on Flickr
Brill windmill in 2013Brill windmill in 1968Brill windmill - detailBrill windmill - arty shotBrill windmillBrill - the view from the windmill
Brill windmillBrill windmillBrill - house signFarm at BrillCow from Brill Community HerdBrill - this old town
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Brill - house signBrill - house sign