Wimbledon Windmill Museum is housed in the windmill on Wimbledon Common. The museum's exhibits have a historical relevance and depict windmills and milling through the ages using working models, machinery and tools of the trade. The museum offers educational and interactive activities for visitors, including hands-on milling for children.
Historic Wimbledon Windmill
Wimbledon windmill is an unusual mill, with a two storey octagonal brick base, where the working machinery was housed, and a conical tower housing the post supporting the cap where the sails are mounted above.
Although large mills already existed on the River Wandle, the Wimbledon Windmill was built by a Roehampton carpenter in 1817 to serve the local community for residents to grind their own 'organically' produced wheat.
The mill stopped working in 1864 and in 1871 was handed over to the local community, when it was converted into living accommodation for six families. One of the museum's rooms has been retained as living quarters from 1870.
The mill was converted into a museum in 1975 and in 1999 its sails were restored to working order and improvements made to the museum.
Museum Exhibits and Displays
The museum contains working models of windmills showing their development from early Greek and Persian mills to modern wind farms. The museum has examples of the many sorts of mills, together with some unusual and experimental mills. We display a continuous performance of films explaining the working of windmills and the milling process.
Push button operated commentaries throughout the museum explain the working of the millstones and describe life in the windmill after it was converted to living accommodation in 1864. A ladder leads up to the tower above where you can see the machinery in the cap and, on windy days, see it turning. The museum always has volunteers on hand to help and answer your questions.
As the museum is run entirely by volunteers our opening times are usually limited to weekends. The Wimbledon Windmill Museum is open from the end of March until the end of October. We open outside these dates for Educational and School Visits throughout the year by appointment.
Shop and Cafe
The Wimbledon Windmill Museum contains a small shop selling, maps, books and souvenirs.
The cafe, run independently from the museum, adjoins the car park and is famous for its extensive menu from snacks to full meals with indoor and outside seating.
School visits for all age groups to the Wimbledon Windmill Museum are welcome throughout the year on weekdays. The museum provides direct teaching using qualified and informed staff.
Wimbledon and Putney Commons total 1140 acres - or 460 hectares - of open land with woodland streams, ponds and heath. As it is not a park Wimbledon Common is kept in as natural a state as possible. Although there are many footpaths, cycle paths and horse rides visitors must be aware that there are also ditches, bogs and brambles.
Wimbledon Common is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a European Special Conservation Area due to the importance of its wildlife.
The Educational Visits are a treat! Every school in the local area should visit the Widmill Museum - it's very much worth the visit.
The Wimbledon Windmill Museum is a fascinating place... the information on display is excellent and ensures we hold on to our local heritage.