No visit to Wimbledon Common is complete without also calling in at the Windmill Museum. There is interest for all ages, children and adults alike. And if you don't have time for the full tour, visit the shop for postcards, books, souvenirs and even Wombles!
The Windmill has been a distinctive landmark since it was built in 1817 to serve the local community. However it only operated until 1864, when the machinery was removed and it was converted to residential accommodation.
The sails have now been restored to working order after rot within the canister allowed one sail to fail, fortunately without much damage. The museum remained open during the renovation.
The museum also has a display of Scouting memorabilia, commemorating the writing of part of 'Scouting for Boys' by Robert Baden-Powell in the Mill House in 1908.
The museum is administered by a charitable trust and run entirely by volunteers, which allows admission charges to be kept down. It is open on summer weekends only, but school parties and group visits can be arranged at other times.
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Our thanks go to the Wandle Concert Band for their wonderful performance on Saturday. They raised all our spirits on a dull winter day as we joined in the singing of all our favourite carols.
A perfect backcloth was provided by the windmill, floodlit for the occasion, revealing the newly restored sails in all their glory, and looking even more impressive as the light faded.
Mince pies and hot drinks were provided free of charge, courtesy of the WPCC Conservators, and the museum was opened (also free) to welcome a full house of visitors throughout the afternoon. Many thanks to all our loyal volunteers and the Commons Rangers who helped to make this event such a success.
We were delighted by the generosity of all those who made donations towards the costs of restoration of the mill. It is evident that our Wimbledon Common landmark is much loved by all the thousands of local residents and users of the Commons.
Wimbledon Windmill Museum CIO is a Registered Charity, No. 1162544
After a sail fell from the windshaft in August 2015, the museum Trustees worked with the owners of the mill, Wimbledon and Putney Commons Conservators, to obtain external funding for the repairs, which included necessary work on the tower and roof as well as the sails. The total project cost was budgeted at £138,000.
In March we were pleased to announce that an HLF grant of £100,000 had been approved for the project. Together with several generous donations from the local community and a commitment from the Conservators to use some of their own funds, the project has proceeded as planned and the sails are fully restored.
Cooperation with the millwrights allowed the museum to remain open throughout the building work and visitors were able to enjoy the exhibits as usual.
The fully restored sails were installed on 9th November, and we look forward to running them occasionally on suitably windy days.