Tower mill, Lytham

A wind-powered corn mill in the historic county of Lancashire, England.

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Lytham Mill is a well-known landmark, prominently situated close to the sea front. There was a windmill in Lytham as early as 1327. In the 17th century a post mill stood between Lytham Hall and St Cuthbert's church; by 1787, according to William Yate's map of Lancashire, there were two mills in this area. The present tower mill was built on a new site in 1805 when Richard Cookson applied to the Squire of Lytham for a plot of land on which to erect a windmill.

The mill continued working, latterly under William Swann, until New Year's Day 1919 when it caught fire and was burnt out. Two years later the mill was given to the people of Lytham and restored as a landmark. It was extensively repaired in the late 1980s and now carries four common sails and a skeleton fantail, and bits and pieces of machinery have been fitted. The mill is open as a local museum but does not work.

The windmill is built in the distinctive Lancashire style, a white-painted tower mill of four storeys with a black boat-shaped cap. Early illustrations show the mill as it was originally designed, with common sails and hand-winding gear at the rear of the cap. Late in the 19th century these features were replaced by a fantail and patent sails. The guide book indicates that the walled mound enclosing the mill's base was not built until ten years after the windmill's construction. It conveniently prevented animals and other users of the surrounding green from straying into the path of the turning sails. The distinctive building next to the mill is an old lifeboat station, now a museum.

Lytham windmill is looked after by the Lytham Heritage Group.

Full details

Power source Wind
Mill type Tower mill
Mill function Corn mill
Archive ID 1465
Location Lytham
Historic county Lancashire
Country England, United Kingdom
NGR SD 371 271
Latitude/longitude 53.73569500, -2.95551500



  • A painting providing an early view of the windmill, circa 1840
  • This evocative postcard from the Don Paterson Collection shows the mill in working order around the turn of the 20th century
  • A lantern slide taken in 1939 from the sea shore, showing the preserved windmill and the old life boat house (now a museum) in front of it
  • Lytham Mill, photographed by Guy Blythman on a misty day in 1970. By now the cap roof has been replaced with one of a more traditional shape
  • A Frank Gregory transparency taken in 1978. The four dummy sails have now been replaced with slightly longer “common” sails


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