Turning back sails of time with a look back at Fylde mills

Wrea Green Windmill, December 1983
Wrea Green Windmill, December 1983

Lytham Windmill is perhaps the best known of all of Fylde’s windmills, but the area at one time was home to a whole host of mills.

Some of them no longer exist – confined to the annals of history, but some of them still stand proudly, albeit with a different use from their agricultural days.

Staining Windmill

Staining Windmill

Windmills converted for private use include Kirkham, Wrea Green, Staining and Treales.

The current Kirkham Windmill, at Dowbridge, was built in 1812, by Christopher and John Waddington, who leased the land from John Clifton.

As neighbouring Carr Hill House developed, with its trees, the mill was cut off from the prevailing wind.

The Waddingtons sold up in 1839 and the mill was left to rot, before being converted during the 1970s into a private home.

Warton Peg Windmill Ink-drawing by William Gardiner, who died in 1909.

Warton Peg Windmill Ink-drawing by William Gardiner, who died in 1909.

Staining Windmill was built in the late 18th century.

It produced grain until 1923 and lay derelict for years, becoming a listed building in 1967. In 1980, it was converted to a house, but is still complete with sails.

Weeton Mill was built in 1812 and ceased working in 1924. It fell into disrepair and was demolished in the 1960s.

Wrea Green Windmill, on Mill Lane, is believed to have dated from at least the 1770s.

The Old Mill, Weeton

The Old Mill, Weeton

It lay virtually untouched for many years, since a boiler explosion in the 1860s when the mill owner was ill-advisedly persuaded to install a new-fangled steam machine.

It was bought in 1982 by Jonathan Ward and he revamped the building and created a unique private dwelling.

Now long-gone, all that remains of Warton’s peg mill is a relic kept at BAE Systems for posterity. Just a stump was left of the all-wooden peg and post mill, which used to grind wheat.

Up until 1771, it was based at Rufford, near Ormskirk, but was removed and re-erected in Warton. Alexander Eccles was the last to work as a corn miller there and he left soon after the turn of the century.

The mill was left to decay and was often referred to as the “old ruined peg mill”.