Lytham St Annes
As one of Lytham’s best and most known landmarks, visiting the Windmill, which contains a museum exploring Lytham's history, is a must.
Established in 1989 by Lytham Heritage Group the museum exhibits a range of displays all focused on the history of milling, lifeboats and Lytham’s heritage. With free entry and displays set out over 4 floors the museum is definitely not one to miss if you fancy expanding your knowledge on the history of Lytham.
The Windmill welcomes visitors of all ages, and with its big range of collections and exhibits there will always be something of interest to everyone.
A prominent backdrop on the iconic Lytham Green, Lytham Windmill has been a landmark in its own right since its construction in 1805. Allen Clarke, author of Windmill Land, stated that Lytham Windmill was the only windmill that he knew of that ‘stood at the water’s edge’.
It attracted farmers from around the area, who would travel by horse and cart to leave their wheat and oats to be collected once it had been ground into flour, meal or bran. Lytham Windmill served a large area, but the local gentility in the new beach houses nearby complained of the noise and smoke emissions from the kiln; the kiln was relocated in the mid-1800s.
Lytham Windmill was a popular attraction in the late 1800s. Notable and respected persons are said to have engraved their names on the mill’s beams; any evidence of this was sadly lost in January 1919 when high winds caused the fan to be driven in reverse. The friction sparked a flame and fire engulfed the windmill. The once-proud windmill was a shell of its former self, without windows, doors or sails.
Subsequently the ownership of the windmill was passed to the town in 1921, who proceeded to revive the windmill and add imitation sails. Whilst the windmill never operated in its previous form again, the building has housed many different societies and exhibitions as well as a café.
Maintenance of the historic structure proved too costly, and in 1987 Fylde Borough Council took ownership of the mill. With help from external funders the mill underwent extensive renovations, and after two years it was able to reopen again. It has since housed a museum run by the Lytham Heritage Group, celebrating the Fylde’s windmill heritage.