Wimbledon Windmill needs your help
The Windmill Museum on Wimbledon Common is now open for the summer. The sails which were removed after one of them suffered damage last year are being repaired and they should be back in place later this season, ready for the centenary next year. The mill, which is tucked away next to the car park and the tea rooms, has had a chequered history.
It was built in 1817 but only functioned as a working mill until 1864. At that time, the 5th Earl Spencer, the Lord of the Manor, wanted to demolish it to build himself a house on the site – fortunately a vigorous campaign by local people stopped that happening. However, soon afterwards the milling equipment was removed and the building was then turned into living accommodation for 6 families. Today it seems astonishing to think that so many people could fit into such a small space!
Local people continue to ensure the survival of this important piece of local history as the mill museum is now run entirely by volunteers. It contains an outstanding collection of exhibits relating to the development and construction of windmills as well as machinery and equipment used to mill grain and produce flour. Visitors can try their hand at milling the old way using the saddle stone, mortar and hand quern – always a hit with the children. The mill is one of London’s hidden gems and definitely worth a detour when visiting the Common.
May 17, 2016