So I love being a Mum, I truly wouldn’t change it for the world, but when your two geeky mates (they will tell you I’m the geeky one – they are lying), mention going to photograph a windmill in Lytham, I jumped at the chance a little like the scene from Braveheart, shouting freedom and running for the hills. I had been dying to go and photograph there, so I couldn’t wait to go.
I love finding out the history of these places, I like knowing why they are there and what they did? Ok… ok I am the geek of my buddies. They may have a point. However, my friend Alex had been planning the day to go based on the weather as we wanted to get a decent sunset shot. So we headed out on a clear warmish evening not realising it was also the time for the snow moon. So was abit of a winner on all scales.
History of Lytham Windmill
Windmills have featured in Lytham’s history for hundreds of years. In 1805 the windmill was built. It is the type of mill known as a tower mill, this essentially designed to grind wheat and oats to produce flour and bran. Some of the machinery, including a 150 year old main shaft of Baltic oak was salvaged from other mills. The original smoky drying kiln was moved to Kiln Street, after pressure from the towns well to do locals. The surrounding area of the windmill was levelled later became Lytham Green.
Like in all my blogs there is always a dark piece of history or some kind of tragedy, well this is no different. So… in 1919 in high wind the mills braking system was overcome, causing the mill to burn out. The mill was then gutted, and donated to the town. A John. T. Clifton, restored the outer shell, given a new cap and set of mock sails.
Over the years, the windmill has been used for a variety of different purposes, such as café, headquarters for Lytham Cruising Club, Motorboat Club, and the sea cadets and at one point even as an electricity board substation – which to me is criminal.
In 1951, the mill was given grade II listing and in 1989 was fully restored as by Fylde Borough Council and opened to the public.
We had a good look around doing our usual of going off in our own little worlds getting shots of the windmill, and the snow moon – again I had no idea it was even a thing. So apparently a snow moon, is another name for the February full moon. It also known, as eagle moon, bear moon, storm moon, hunger moon, or the bony moon.
The moon goes through 12 or 13 full phases throughout the entire year, they all have unique names, most depriving from native North American tribes. Whilst we were there we noticed that the windmill actually has a museum, but we unfortunately went too late in the day to go in.
It is a local bit of history and for me who is originally from just outside of London, where it wasn’t as industrialised in regards to produce, coal etc I find this stuff fascinating. I don’t recall any windmill from where I’m from, if you’re interested in history or photography it’s definitely worth a look but if you just after getting a nice picture, bob by on your way somewhere else. There is very little there, other than the shore line, and a café.
Lytham Windmill Museum is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10.30am – 1.00pm and then reopens from 2.00pm – 4.30pm.
Lytham Windmill Museum,