- Your visit
- What's on
- School visits
Discover Bursledon Windmill, Hampshire’s only working windmill, and a fascinating glimpse into the county’s milling history. Built in 1814, after a period of dereliction it was restored and reopened in the 1990s as a working windmill and heritage attraction.
Other buildings on site include the Chineham Barn, which now houses the ticket office and other facilities, and the Hiltingbury Granary, an 18th century farm building. The pond that used to water the farmer’s horses has been re-dug in its original location. Much of Bursledon Windmill is an outdoor site, so suitable clothing and footwear are strongly advised.
Things to do
There is plenty for the whole family to do at Bursledon Windmill:
- Tour the windmill itself – guided tours start every half hour
- Take a walk through Windmill Wood and try the brass rubbing nature trail
- Watch a documentary on how the mill works and an animation of Phoebe Mouse
- Try grinding flour by hand and follow the process from grain to loaf
- Browse the gift shop’s range of windmill-themed items
The workings of the mill
The boat-shaped cap - so called because it looks like the inverted hull of a boat - turns on the top of the windmill tower to keep the sails facing into the wind. The sails have canvas cloths spread over them to catch the wind: hardly any canvas is required in a strong wind, whereas full cloths are needed in a light breeze. The reefing stage around the mill provides access to the sails.
Inside the mill, the ground floor was used for the temporary storage of newly-delivered grain and for bagging the milled meal and flour. Further up are the stone floor, the bin floor and the dust floor, known as such because it easily became very dusty and dirty during milling. Here, you can see each element of the mill mechanism and learn from our guides how each piece worked together to grind the flour.
History of the mill
The windmill was built in 1814 and was in operation until the late 1880s. Between 1978 and 1991, the derelict mill was restored by the Hampshire Buildings Preservation Trust. The sails were replaced in 1990 and the mill opened to the public in May 1991. In 2012, a major two year restoration to the windmill began, supported by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant, before the mill reopened once again under the care of Hampshire Cultural Trust in 2014.