Visit England has accredited the Rayleigh Windmill as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction. Visit England is a national body that assesses visitor attractions throughout the country.
The Windmill hosts various exhibitions throughout the season on the 2nd floor. To find out more about the exhibitions lined up this season, download the flyer in the Related Content section below.
For all the latest news and updates follow us on Twitter @rayleigh_mill and on Facebook: Rayleigh Windmill
The Windmill will be open from Sunday 2nd April until 1st October 2017.
Wednesday 10:00am - 1:00pm
Saturday 1:00 - 4:00pm
Sunday 1:00 - 4:00pm
Entry is free of charge, a minimum £1 donation per person is encouraged.
Please note, parking in the Mill Hall Car Park is FREE on Saturdays from 1pm and on Sundays all day.
The following exhibitions will take place on the second floor of the Windmill during the 2017 season.
Visitors can also ‘meet the artists’, who will be there with their exhibition during opening hours.
Sunday 2 April – Wednesday 19 April
Mary Blindflowers – Oneiric and symbolic paintings
Saturday 22 April – Sunday 7 May
Dave Gilmore - People, places and the odd Tiger and Cheetah
Wednesday 10 May – Wednesday 24 May
Keith Gravestock - A Bit of Glass
Sunday 27 May- Sunday 25 June
Compass Photography Group
Wednesday 28 June- Wednesday 19 July
Nicki Price- Journeys
Saturday 22 July- Sunday 13 August
Wednesday 16 August- Wednesday 30 August
Sunday 3 September- Sunday 1 October
David and Qiong Morley
The Windmill will also take part in National Mills Weekend on Saturday 13 May and Sunday 14 May, when it will be open from 12- 4pm, with the volunteers dressing up in traditional costume.
Due to private events the Windmill will be closed on the following dates:
Saturday 1 April, Wednesday 5 April, Saturday 22 April, Wednesday 31 May, Saturday 3 June, Saturday 10 June, Saturday 17 June, Saturday 15 July, Wednesday 26 July, Saturday 29 July, Sunday 30 July, Sunday 6th August, Sunday 13 August, Saturday 26 August, Saturday 2 September, Saturday 16 September.
Please check before visiting as these dates are subject to change and opening times may vary.
The Windmill will open on the following dates to coincide with the Family Theatre shows at The Mill Arts & Events Centre and the half term holiday:-
Sunday 21st May, 2pm
Sunday 18th June, 2pm
Sunday 16th July, 2pm
You can book tickets for the Family Theatre events at The Mill Arts and Events Centre by calling Customer Services on 01702 318191. Click on the link in the Related Content section below for further information.
School and Group Visits
We welcome school and group visits and group leaders can download a Group Visit Heritage Guide and booking form in the Related Content section below.
School or group visits may be booked during the winter months but are subject to volunteer availability.
Weddings and Civil Ceremonies
If you are interested in booking the Rayleigh Windmill for your wedding or civil ceremony, please use the links on the left to find out more. Weddings and Civil Ceremonies (including viewings) at the Rayleigh Windmill can take place all year-round.
For all enquiries about the Rayleigh Windmill, including wedding and civil ceremony bookings, contact:
The Leisure Team at Rochford District Council on 01702 318120 or via email using this form
How to get there
Essex SS6 7ED
The Windmill is situated within the town centre of Rayleigh, just off of the High Street. This is a pedestrian area with a car park in front.
Car: From the A127 take the A129, which will take you straight to Rayleigh High Street.
Train: Rayleigh has a railway station that is only five minutes walk away from the High Street. A mainline service runs between Southend and London.
Bus: There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the Windmill, which is in the centre of the High Street and is serviced by most buses.
The Windmill is a historical, Grade II listed building and so unfortunately parts of it cannot be accessed by wheelchair users. However, the ground floor of the building and the sensory garden are both accessible by ramp. Furthermore, a TV screen installed on the ground floor, and cameras on each level of this six-storey building, allow disabled visitors to see the upper areas of the interior and the stunning view outside the Windmill.
The Windmill has its own public car park in Bellingham Lane.
The Windmill does not have its own toilet facilities, however the nearest toilets, including disabled toilet and baby changing facilities, can be found in The Mill Arts & Events Centre which is situated next door to the Windmill.
Nearby related sites
This Motte and bailey mound is what remains of the Domesday castle erected by Sweyn of Essex, dating from the period following the Norman invasion of 1066. History display boards are located within the adjacent Windmill.
The Dutch Cottage
This Grade II listed, octagonal building on Crown Hill is thought to date from the 18th century. It takes its name from the association of this type of house with the 17th century Dutch immigrants who constructed many of the sea walls of the south Essex coast. For those who would like a tour inside the Dutch Cottage it is open by appointment with the owner on Wednesday afternoons.
Windmill All In a Spin After Winning Top Award!
Rayleigh Windmill were the words on everyone’s lips on Wednesday 14 May 2014 at a packed-out glittering awards ceremony in London when it won the Best Customer Service Award at the Museums + Heritage Awards for Excellence 2014.
Other winners on the night included London’s Victoria and Albert Museum which walked away with the 2014 ‘Best of the Best’ accolade and Portsmouth’s New Mary Rose Museum.
The prestigious awards were announced by BAFTA-winning comedienne and broadcaster, Sue Perkins who presented Rochford District Council’s Leisure Team and Lead Windmill volunteer Trevor Rand with their award and congratulated them on the exceptionally high levels of customer service they deliver.
The awards celebrate excellence throughout the sector and are judged by a panel of experts, a panel member said; “These awards recognise the amazing achievements, creativity, innovation, hard work and utter commitment evident throughout the museums and heritage sector. The number of applications, of really impressive quality, grows year after year as the awards have become the benchmark for excellence. If you are shortlisted, let alone win one of these awards, you know you are among the best of the best”.
Speaking after the awards Rochford District Council’s Head of Community Services, Jeremy Bourne said: “We are very proud that Rayleigh Windmill has won the Award for Customer Service. Given the quality of the entries from across the Country we are thrilled to walk away with such a prestigious award. The award is thanks to the work of the Council’s Leisure Team and in particular the many volunteers that give so much of their time to provide such dedicated service to the local Community”.
All in all, it was a glittering evening of celebration and recognition of the hard work and dedication of the volunteers of Rayleigh Windmill.
For more information about Rayleigh Windmill please contact the Leisure Team or follow us on Twitter @rayleigh_mill