The Windmill is Lytham’s most famous landmark. The iconic white structure was built in the early 19th century and was a working mill until it was destroyed by fire in 1919. In 1987 it was restored by Fylde Borough Council and now serves as a heritage museum and as the town’s tourist information office.
Since 1987 there has been a local history museum inside the windmill. Spread over 4 floors it houses exhibits on the history of Lytham, fishing and shrimping, Lytham Pier (demolished 1960), Lytham Hall, and the history of mills.
Admission is free but donations are welcome.
Opening times are 10.30 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 4.30 pm. The museum is only open at Easter, spring (weekends only) and in the summer (Wednesday to Sunday, and bank holidays).
Lytham Windmill is situated on Lytham Green, overlooking the Ribble Estuary.
Lytham Windmill was built in 1805 by the Squire of Lytham. As the town grew in popularity as a holiday resort visitors were drawn to the attractive corn mill as they walked along Lytham Green.
In 1919 a powerful storm cause the sails to run out of control, causing the breaks to emit sparks and starting a fire that destroyed the mill. In 1921 the Squire of Lytham gave the windmill to the people of the town. It was restored and fitted with dummy sails and in the following years was used as a café, meeting room, and even an electricity substation.
By the 1980s the windmill its timbers were experiencing severe problems with rising damp. In 1987 Fylde Borough Council began a major restoration programme and 2 years later reopened it as a tourist attraction.
In November 2010 a severe storm hit Lancashire, ripping one of the sails off the windmill, and also causing extensive damage to Blackpool Illuminations.
The Old Lytham Lifeboat House
Right next to the windmill is the Old Lytham Lifeboat House, built with cobblestones in mid-19th century. It remained in active use until 1931 when a motor lifeboat was permanently moored off Lytham Pier.
In 1985 Fylde Borough Council bought the building and the following year opened it as a lifeboat museum to commemorate the centenary of the 1886 ‘Mexico Disaster’. The museum closed in 2004.