Windrush Square is a public open space in the very heart of Brixton, which is an important meeting point for residents and visitors alike.
The name ‘Windrush’ commemorates the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush, which docked at Tilbury from Jamaica on 22 June 1948, carrying 492 migrants and, for many, symbolises the beginnings of modern British multicultural society.
The Square originally comprised two separate open spaces, ‘Windrush Square’ and ‘Tate Library Gardens’. The latter site was an open space provided by the widow of the famous industrialist and philanthropist Sir Henry Tate, who also helped found the adjacent Brixton Tate Library. However, funding was secured to bring these two sites together as a central plaza to serve the wider needs of Brixton’s communities, this work was finally completed in 2010.
Windrush Square consists of a series of stepped landscapes of different surfaces and materials, along with grassed areas, lighting and seating, with a large mature London Plane tree at its heart. The Square is home to a number of monuments, including the African and Caribbean War Memorial, the United Kingdom's principal national memorial to African and Caribbean service personnel who fought in the First and Second World Wars. Directly next to Windrush Square is the home of the Black Cultural Archives, a nationally-recognised centre dedicated to collecting, preserving and celebrating the histories of African and Caribbean peoples in Britain.
Windrush Square is also host to the Cherry Groce Memorial Pavilion, which was installed in 2021 and commemorates the life of Cherry Groce, who was shot in her home in 1985. Designed by the architect Sir David Adjaye, the memorial acts as a beacon of hope to local people in the pursuit of equality, justice and truth.
Other useful information
Friends of Windrush Square (FoWS) - Friends of Windrush Square
Black Cultural Archives - Black Cultural Archives