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Marsh Mill WindmillMarsh Mill windmill restored and with new sails

New fantail at Marsh Mill windmill, ThorntonNew fantail on the ground at Marsh Mill windmill, Thornton, before the attempt at installation.

Marsh Mill awaiting new sailsMarsh Mill awaiting new sails

Grinding corn at Marsh MillTry your hand at grinding corn at Marsh Mill

How a windmill works

Marsh Mill Windmill

The Windmill at Marsh Mill stands as a prominent central landmark to a courtyard complex of shops, cafes and offices - it's well worth a visit!

Marsh Mill itself is the finest, well preserved example of its kind in the north west of England.

Heritage on your Doorstep - you can see inside Marsh Mill - Grade II* (Two Star) Listed Mill on open days

Your life is not complete without a visit to Marsh Mill, the most complete windmill in the north-west of England.

Come and see the machinery of yesteryear which ground corn into flour to make it digestible. Try grinding some yourself on the hand quern and see how flour is produced. 

The Friends of Marsh Mill hold Open Days with guided tours to the top where you can climb to the top to see the impressive machinery - a definite "WOW" factor. 

For anyone not wishing to make the ascent there is a wealth of information on the ground floor.

On selected days you'll even catch the newly restored sails turning.

Open Days

Marsh Mill Village is home to a courtyard complex which includes craft shops and cafes, a pub and a fine dining restaurant.

Throughout the year there are events running in the square, and there's plenty of nearby free parking.

Guided tours are available between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays until November, when the mill closes for the winter. 

Tours are just £2.00 per person or £3.50 per family - extraordinary value in this day and age. Entry to the Mill is actually free!

Marsh Mill opens in September as part of the Heritage Open Days programme, with free entry into the windmill and tours to the top. 

The North West Mills Group is a non-profit making society which promotes interest in wind and water mills and Marsh Mill is open for National Mills Weekend in May. 

Find out when Marsh Mill windmill is open, and what else is happening in the area, in the Events Calendar here

The Friends of Marsh Mill

This group was formed in January 2013 to give an independent voice to discussions about its long-term conservation and preservation. Another key aim is to set up a calendar of events to raise the mill's profile.

The importance of the mill to the community during its operational years cannot be underestimated; in short it helped to feed our families during and after the Industrial Revolution, for which we should be very grateful.

Find out More

Marsh Mill, Fleetwood Road North, Thornton Cleveleys, FY5 4JZ

History of Marsh Mill windmill

More about the Friends of Marsh Mill here

Website for the Friends of Marsh Mill here

Friends of Marsh Mill Facebook page

More about Little Marton Windmill

More about Lytham Windmill

Clean Bill of Health for Marsh Mills 221st Birthday

Marsh Mill in Thornton celebrated its 221st birthday and being given a clean bill of health by Historic England.

The mill has been removed from the Heritage at Risk Register following £320,000 investment by Wyre Council.

Published annually by Historic England (previously known as English Heritage), the register identifies listed buildings and historic places at risk of loss, decay or inappropriate development.

Marsh Mill was added to the register in 2012 and since then extensive repairs have been carried out to the cap (roof), fantail and reefing stage (balcony), ventilation has been improved and a new set of sails installed.

Standing at over 70 feet, Marsh Mill is one the tallest tower mills in Europe and is the best preserved windmill in the north west of England with much of the original machinery still intact and serves as an important reminder of the skill and craftsmanship of those who built it, the hard toil of those who worked in it and the perseverance of those who have sought to conserve it.

Arrival of Marsh Mill Sails and Re-Opening

Published June 2015

Marsh Mill had a great party to celebrate re-opening after major restoration work, and the public turned up in numbers to provide a great atmosphere and to see the machinery inside the mill which is unique in the north west of England.

the Windmill Players entertain Deputy Mayor Wyre Councillor Ron Greenhough
The Windmill Players entertain Deputy Mayor Wyre Councillor Ron Greenhough

The official opening was performed by Deputy Mayor of Wyre Councillor Ron Greenhough, aided by the Windmill Players. The thespians, in period costume, included lord of the manor Bold Fleetwood Hesketh, the man who had the mill built in 1794. Wyre Levee Stompers provided music to put a spring in everyone's step.

Marsh Mill windmill with new sails

Work on the mill has been paid for by Wyre Borough Council and has included a repaired fantail - a device which turns in the wind and, through an involved set of gears, turns the cap of the mill automatically to ensure the sails always face into the wind. Other work has included a replacement gallery or reefing stage and the repainting and complete redecoration of the exterior.

Replacing the new sails on Marsh Mill

In September 2014, the sails at Marsh Mill were removed with the help of a rather large crane, and taken to the millwrights Owlsworth IJP in Henley on Thames where they were copied to make a brand new set of sails which have been re-fitted to the mill.

Removing the sails at Marsh Mill windmill
Removing the sails at Marsh Mill windmill - thanks to Andy Ball for this photo

Marsh Mill Windmill in Brief

One of the largest mills in Europe, Marsh Mill stands at a height of 22.8m (70ft) and is also one of the tallest on the Fylde.

Until 1922 Marsh Mill was a working windmill. It's what's known as a 'gristmill' - one which grinds grain to flour and it produced wheatflour for bread, crushed barley for animal feed, rye flour and oatmeal.

Until the advent of the steam engine, wind and watermills provided the only source of power for many different processes - from making flour, paper, cloth to hammering metal and extracting oils. You can explore mills that produced, or still produce these products, some restored to working order, some derelict, some still working commercially.

It was built in 1794 by Ralph Slater who was a Fylde Millwright and also built Pilling and Clifton Mills. It was commissioned by Bold Hesketh, uncle of Peter Hesketh (later Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood) who would go on to play a prominent role in the expansion of Fleetwood.

Tragedy struck in May 1930, when a Miss Alice Baldwin and a Mrs Mary Jane Bailey visited the windmill with an interest in purchasing it. However, when both women stepped onto the fantail platform, the platform collapsed and the women fell to their deaths.

In 1957 it was sold to Thornton Cleveleys, later Wyre Council.

The mill underwent a two year renovation and the sails finally turned again after sixty years in 1990. After lapsing into disrepair again it was restored in 2016. 

You can read more about the history of Marsh Mill here

Would you like to own Marsh Mill Windmill?

Visit Cleveleys is part of Visit Fylde Coast, a digital media product which is independently published by The Rabbit Patch Ltd.

We're a design and creatives company right here on the Fylde Coast and we have an online shop where we sell our own original art.

This is our original watercolour painting of Marsh Mill Windmill - it's available in various sizes as a framed, mounted or plain print.

Follow the link and have a look around at both local scenes and traditional seaside views.

Original watercolour painting of Marsh Mill Windmill from Seaside Emporium

Marsh Mill Windmill, watercolour painting from Seaside Emporium


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