Bembridge windmill is the last of eight windmills that once worked on the Isle of Wight. It is managed by the National Trust and stands on the high ground overlooking Brading Marshes and the Yar estuary. It was built around 1700 using Island stone and continued in operation until 1913. The windmill retains most of its original mechanism and represents around 300 years of history, from the time when it was at the cutting edge of rural technology to being made redundant by the march of steam and other forms of motive power.
In 1795 it was an inspiration for the famous artists JMW Turner, who was a regular visitor to the Isle of Wight and who started a painting that featured the windmill on its hill above the surrounding floodplain. An image of this painting is on display at the mill.
Bembridge windmill is now a Grade 1 listed building and as the sole surviving wind-powered mill, is also a valuable part of the Island’s heritage. You are able to explore all four floors, which extend up to the top of the mill, to get a great sense of how these amazing buildings functioned. The sweeps are all intact, although these days there are no sails attached. It remains one of the most recognisable buildings on the Isle of Wight and makes a great starting point for a walk to the nearby Brading Marshes RSPB reserve. There is no onsite parking, although there is a lay-by about 100 metres from the entrance, but this is not owned by the National Trust.
Bembridge windmill is only a short walk from the atractive centre of Bembridge village where you can find many places to eat and drink and you can find out more information about opening hours and admission costs by accessing the windmill’s page on the National Trust website