Lytham Windmill and Museum

Lytham Windmill and Museum

Lytham Windmill stands tall and proud on the Green at Lytham seafront against East Beach. Inside is a fascinating exhibition and museum.

Throughout the year it’s a beautiful space for people to enjoy the fresh sea air, open skies and the great outdoors. It’s also a popular space for big events like Lytham War Time Weekend and Lytham Proms.

Explore Lytham Windmill

Lythams best known landmark is the spectacular white Windmill, stood in the centre of Lytham Green. Have a look at this aerial footage, with thanks to Robert Hudson for allowing us to share it.

Drone footage of Lytham Windmill and the Green

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Call into the seasonal museum at Lytham Windmill where you can find out about its history. Inside are exhibits focussed on the “History of Mills and Milling” and the “Heritage of Lytham St Annes and the Fylde Area”.

Lytham Windmill and Lifeboat Museum
Lytham Windmill and Lifeboat Museum

20,000 people a year visit the museum and the windmill – from the local area and from all over the world.

The museum was started in 1989 by Lytham Heritage Group and covers four floors inside the mill. It’s still run voluntarily by the members who look after the displays and exhibitions. The Museum is a registered with the Museum, Libraries and Archive Council. Registration Number RD861.

Call in and find out more. About the milling process and the history of this fine Grade II listed building, and more about life in Victorian Lytham. Entry is free of charge, but of course donations are very welcome.

There’s also a Tourist Information Point in the Windmill during the season.

More about Lytham Windmill

There are just three remaining windmills still standing on the Fylde Coast. This one, Little Marton Windmill and Marsh Mill at Thornton.

Lytham Heritage Group manage the museum and regularly update the displays to keep it interesting and up to date.

Displays inside Lytham windmill
Displays inside Lytham windmill

Lytham Windmill is a key local landmark with a long history which stretches back over two hundred years. In that time the landscape has altered, there’s been big changes in society and huge changes in technology. The interesting exhibits capture some of this.

Displays inside Lytham Windmill
Displays inside Lytham Windmill
Displays inside Lytham Windmill
Displays inside Lytham Windmill

There’s still a huge amount which this group want to do, so keep popping in to see the latest developments. Enjoy projected images, sounds and video that bring the past to life for everyone, especially children.

Lytham Windmill Lifeboat Museum

The Old Lifeboat House next to the Windmill is also part of the museum. It displays a full size Victorian Pulling and Sailing Lifeboat named Chapman from 1901. It’s been restored to a very high level. The boat was put on display in autumn 2015.

Lytham St Annes now has a new lifeboat, kept at St Annes Lifeboat station.

Restored Chapman Lifeboat at Lytham Windmill Museum
Restored Chapman Lifeboat at Lytham Windmill Museum

The theme of the Lifeboat museum is the Great Lifeboat Disaster of 1886.

27 lifeboat men from the St Annes and Southport crews lost their lives, trying to rescue 12 men from the shipwrecked barque the Mexico.

The Lifeboat Museum is also looked after by Lytham Heritage Group who manage the museum inside Lytham Windmill.

Volunteers are welcome to join The Group and assist with the day to day opening and stewarding of the museum. Contact thecentre@lythamheritage.co.uk for more information.

This is the first lifeboat in the Old Lifeboat House since 1931 when the Kate Walker was replaced by the JHW. The Chapman lifeboat has strong links to the northwest and is a prime attraction for the museum. She is also a sister vessel of the St Annes No1 lifeboat ON587 James Scarlet that was on station from 1908 to 1925, when the St Annes station was finally closed. She was launched 9 times saving 20 lives.

Open Days

Admission to Lytham Windmill and the Museum inside it is free, but donations are very welcome.

Discover and explore the Great Lifeboat Disaster of 1886, workings of the windmill, old and ancient Lytham. Learn about milling and bread making, Lytham school days. See the restored Victorian lifeboat.

Enjoy a fun and educational experience with the family. It takes 20-40 minutes to view – and kids love it!

Lytham Windmill and Lifeboat Museum
Lytham Windmill and Lifeboat Museum

Lytham Windmill Opening Times – 2019

If you do go along, please say that you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

Spring Season
Sat 4 May to Mon 27 May, weekends and Bank Holidays

Summer Season
Wed 29 May to Sun 15 September, Weds to Sun and Bank Holidays
CLOSED – Lytham Club Day 22 June and Lytham Proms 10-14 July

Autumn Season
Sat 21 to Sun 29 September, weekends (Sat & Sun) only

OPENING TIMES
10.30am to 1pm and 2-4.30pm

The Lifeboat Museum is open weekends only

Mondays and Tuesdays – Closed – School Parties Only – By Appointment

History of Lytham Windmill

The history of Lytham Windmill gives an interesting glimpse back into a long forgotten age.

Lytham Windmill in 1909, from Tuck Postcards
Lytham Windmill in 1909, from Tuck Postcards

The flat Fylde Coast is very exposed to winds from the Irish Sea so it was once a popular spot for these buildings. In fact, there’s reference to windmills in documents dating as far back in time as 1190.

Over 200 years ago, back in 1805 Richard Cookson, sought and obtained a lease from the Squire for a plot of land on which to build a ‘windy milne’ in the area then known as Lytham Marsh. It was always busy, serving the large area of farmland.

Interesting that in the 1840’s when the lovely houses of East Beach were being built by business men and mill owners, the residents saw the Windmill as an “industrial nuisance”.

Lytham Windmill, image thanks to Visit Fylde Coast contributor Juliette Gregson
History of Lytham Windmill, image thanks to Visit Fylde Coast contributor Juliette Gregson

When Fire Strikes a Windmill

On 2nd January 1919 a tremendous gale turned the sails and despite the powerful brake, sparks were created which ignited the woodwork. The building was quickly ravaged by fire and its interior entirely gutted.

Lytham Windmill remained derelict until 1921 when it was given by the Squire to the Lytham Urban District Council. In 1989 it was restored by Fylde Borough Council and opened to the public.

Has this whetted your appetite? Find out more from Lytham Windmill and Museum website.

Now, there are just three windmills still standing on the Fylde Coast – this one, Little Marton Windmill and Marsh Mill at Thornton.

Would you like your own Windmill?

Visit Lytham is part of Visit Fylde Coast, independently published by The Rabbit Patch Ltd. We’re a design and creatives company right here on the Fylde Coast and we have an online shop called the Seaside Emporium full of our own original art.

This is our original watercolour painting of Lytham Windmill – available framed or as a plain print. Follow the link and have a look around at both local scenes and traditional seaside views.

Watercolour painting of Lytham Windmill, from Seaside Emporium
Watercolour painting of Lytham Windmill, from Seaside Emporium

While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Visit Lytham website for more of the latest updates.

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