The Historic Wimbledon Windmill Sails Again

Restoration work is finished after sail's collapse in 2015

After being built in 1817 to serve local people growing their own wheat, and following a major restoration in 1975, the sails of the famous local landmark, the Grade II listed Wimbledon Windmill, had finally had enough.

On the quiet evening of the Prudential London Bike Ride on Sunday 2 August 2015, and although they had been annually inspected by specialist millwrights, the weakness could not be foreseen and one of the four sails fell onto the roof of the museum below - thankfully no one was injured.

The owners of the windmill, Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators, and the trustees of the Wimbledon Windmill Museum Trust have worked together to successfully apply for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Together with donations and other fund raising, they have raised £140,000 to fund partial refurbishment of the tower and to replace part of the balustrades on the balcony and the fallen windmill sail itself.

Under the direction of specialist architects, Marcus Beale Associates, the work was carried out on Wednesday (November 9) by Reading millwrights and building convervationists, Owlsworth IJP, and the sun shone as the task was completed.

Chief Executive of the Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators, Simon Lee, said: "After an absence of just over fifteen months, the sails to the Wimbledon Windmill were today re-installed.

"The Conservators and Windmill Trustees are grateful to those who play the lottery, helping through the Heritage Lottery Fund to secure funding to restore the iconic Grade II* listed structure. The operations by our specialist millwrights Owlsworth IJP, went very smoothly and the major capital works are now nearly complete, just in time for the bicentenary celebrations in 2017.”

  • The Wimbledon Windmill Museum is open to the public from April to October on Saturdays 2pm – 5pm, and on Sundays and bank holidays 11am to 5pm, with a small entry charge.
  • The museum offers a fascinating insight into the world of windmills and milling, the first truly industrial process in modern civilisation. The mill ceased working in 1864 and became living accommodation for six families before opening as a hands-on museum.

November 9, 2016

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The restored Wimbledon Windmill

Putting the new sail in place

The damaged windmill sail in 2015