On Saturday 30th March, the Windmill Museum on Wimbledon Common reopens for the summer.
The mill, which is tucked away next to the car park and the tea rooms, has a varied 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 six 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.
Opening times are: Saturdays from 2-5pm and Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays from 11-5pm.
To join the volunteer team (we really need your help and support!) enquire at the mill in opening hours or contact the team via the contact form on the website www.wimbledonwindmill.org.uk
February 28, 2013