Lytham Windmill and Lifeboat Museum, on Lytham Green

Look around 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 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 Festival.

Explore Lytham Windmill

Lythams best known landmark is the spectacular white Windmill, stood in the centre of Lytham Green.

Sponsored Sponsored Joseph Travis Art - Fund Raising

In September 2020, we went for a walk along The Green, to take a look around the outside of the Windmill and Lifeboat Museum –

And here’s some great aerial footage, with thanks to Robert Hudson –

Inside the Windmill

Call into the seasonal museum at Lytham Windmill where you can find out about its history. Exhibits inside are 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. You can see workings of the windmill, old and ancient Lytham. Learn about milling and bread making, Lytham school days. See the restored Victorian lifeboat.

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.

Entry is free of charge, but of course donations are very welcome. Enjoy a fun and educational experience with the family. It takes about 20-40 minutes to view – and kids love it!

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

More about Lytham Windmill Museum

There’s a small handful of remaining windmills still standing here on the Fylde Coast. This one, Little Marton Windmill, Marsh Mill at Thornton and Staining windmill.

Lytham Windmill in the morning with the sun on the other side!
Lytham Windmill in the morning with the sun on the other side!

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 part of the museum. It’s also looked after by Lytham Heritage Group.

Lytham windmill and lifeboat museum, at Lytham Green
Lytham windmill and lifeboat museum, at Lytham Green

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.

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.

Lytham Windmill Opening Times

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

The volunteers open Lytham windmill and museum seasonally and it’s closed during the winter. Please check back for next years opening times.

  • Spring Season
  • Summer Season
  • Autumn Season
  • The Lifeboat Museum is open weekends only

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’s a popular spot for these buildings. In fact, there’s reference to windmills in documents dating as far back in time as 1190. And now modern wind turbines stand offshore for much the same reason.

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 too fiercely. 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 the Squire gave it to Lytham Urban District Council. Many years later, in 1989, Fylde Borough Council restored it and opened it to the public.

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

Now, there are just a small handful of windmills still standing on the Fylde Coast. This one, Little Marton WindmillMarsh Mill at Thornton and Staining Windmill.

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. Our online shop is the Seaside Emporium and it’s full of our own original art.

Do you like our original watercolour painting of Lytham Windmill? Prints of it are available in a variety of sizes. 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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